The Oyo state government over the weekend declared the exempted churches, mosques and other religious houses within the state from paying tax levies.
The Executive Assistant to Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo state, Rev. Idowu Ogedengbe made this known at the thanksgiving mass to celebrate the 70th year birthday of the Catholic Archbishop of Ibadan diocese , Most Rev . Gabriel Abegunrin held at the Church of Ascension, Bodija, Ibadan on Sunday.
Ogedengbe stated that any places of worship that do businesses such as establishing of schools, universities, hospitals, bakeries, and so on must pay tax to the government since it was a profit-making venture.
“As long as the people who constitute the church, mosque are paying tax, the church, mosque are exempted”. “Some churches and mosques that have schools, should try to reduce the school fees, and whatever they are charging is more or less close to what government is charging. We have churches and mosques promoting education, promotion good health care too.
“Some have hospitals, they should as much as possible make it humanitarian, not necessarily on commercial basis.
“As long as churches and mosques are participating and partaking in the responsibility of government and alleviating the responsibility of the government through provision of education, provision of healthcare, and other humanitarian services then let the churches and mosques be, because the people that constitute the church, mosque are the people that are expected to pay their taxes as members of the society.
“And so, for the government to be charging them again, that will be double taxation, because the church, and mosque are not isolated bodies. They are community of believers.
Dignitaries present at the event include Chief Akanni Aluko, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan represented by Oba Fayemi Olumayowa, the President , Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, Most Rev. Augustine Akubueze, Ekerefe of Erefe of Ife , and members of Olubadan Advisory Council including High Chief Eddy Oyewole.