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Published On: Tue, May 27th, 2014

Delegates demand religious bodies pay tax

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Confab Chairman KutigiBy Hassan Haruna Ginsau

Delegates at the national conference have called on the federal government to tax religious bodies on the basis that they are contributing to the economy of the country

Nasir Kura, a delegate representing civil society organisations during his address on the report submitted by the confab’s committee on religion said the report didn’t capture the role of religion in the economy.

During his address, Kura noted that he was “strongly of the opinion that these religious organisations that are shouting and saying they want to claim certain rights over us and Nigeria, the businesses they run should be taxed.”

He went on to suggest that the tax exemption that is been given to these religious bodies should be stopped.

Issac Ighure, a delegate representing the Nigeria guild of editors also called on the religious bodies to pay taxes to the federal government. He noted that religious bodies were making so much money that pastors were now buying private jets and buying “mobile homes in the name of jeeps” while the poverty stricken members of their congregations dwelled in harsh conditions.

“The government should call the elite to order to stop manipulating the less fortunate Nigerians; the almajiris in the North and the poor little kids in the South. What they do is because these children are hungry; they feed them, making them loyal. And when they ask them to go and die, they do not hesitate, ready cannon further for Boko Haram.

One delegate who did not state his name however opposed this notion, pointing out that whatever a pastor decided to do with the money given to him as offering was his own business. He noted that even in traditional religions if you make an offering, “you do not go back to the Chief Priest to ask what he is doing with it, it’s his business.”

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