Ogun State Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel has said his government has no intention to tax religious bodies under any guise, describing them as partners in progress towards moving the society forward.
According to the Governor in a statement by his Press Officer, Mr Kehinde Onasanya â€œChurches and places of worship should be exempted from taxation since their work is complimentary to that of government and we have never contemplated anything of such.â€
The Governor who stated this while playing host to the General Overseer of Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria, Rev (Dr) Wilson Badejo said while it was the responsibility of government to provide infrastructure, employment opportunities as well as conducive atmosphere for growth, the church too has a role to play in the area of prayers for the society in a symbiotic manner.
Said the Governor: â€œOur country needs prayer and the church has a role to play in restoring hope for the hopeless, it has a role to play in restoring sanity and reorienting our people in a positive manner and such places of worship should be exempted from taxes.”
Governor Daniel while responding to the request of Rev. Badejo also informed on the Stateâ€™s effort on IPP project to tackle the incessant electricity supply from the National grid, saying â€œwe are quietly working on a project capable of generating 300 megawatts and this is not through public sector financeâ€
He commended the Church for advancing the cause of education through its proposed establishment of a university, saying â€œ Ogun State remains the only state with the highest number of higher institutions and with the increasing relocation of the headquarters of religious bodies to our state, you will all agree with me that God is in control hereâ€
Rev Badejo who was in the State to attend the Abeokuta district Convention of the church had described the Governor as a progressive minded leader whose government had impacted positively on the people.
He seized the opportunity to inform the Governor of insinuations in some quarters that â€œ tithes and offerings in the church may be subjected to taxation by government â€ , saying â€œthis may amount to paying double taxes by our membersâ€
The General Overseer who also lamented the epileptic nature electricity supply in the country ,urged the Governor to intensify efforts on his IPP project.