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Religious bodies’ ventures must pay taxes — FRC

By on November 28, 2015

The Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria on Thursday said that non-charitable institutions owned by religious bodies would need to pay taxes because they were commercial ventures.

The Chief Executive Officer, FRC, Mr. Jim Obazee, said this while speaking on the theme, ‘Corporate governance: Essential ingredient for national development,’ at the 19th annual public lecture of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management in Lagos.

Obazee explained that because the religious institutions were dealing with public funds, it had become necessary for them to prepare financial accounts.

“If you (a religious institution) want to set up a school, the school should be free for all your members’ children. If you charge any money, you will make those who have schools outside not to pay taxes to the government because you are engaging in non-charitable activity within charity,” he said.

He noted that the religious bodies that were finding it hard to comply with the preparation of their accounts in Nigeria had no problems doing it abroad.

While speaking on the importance of corporate governance, Obazee said, “The governance framework adopted by an organisation is influenced by factors such as regulation, market norms and expectation.”

He explained that where public funds were involved, it was advantageous to demand the adoption of certain governance practices.

The FRC boss added, “If you are keeping people’s money, then you have to prepare accounts. That is why churches fought me badly; they took me as a person and my office to court. But the last day that the court called, neither their lawyers nor the churches attended.”

One Comment

  1. baddy

    November 28, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    I don’t have any objection to this tax collecting tingy… cos most religious organisations make serious bucks outta d poor… their members stee pay Hugh sum of amount as scool fees n yet they struggle to meet up.. their scool fees to d general public ought to b supoz to b Supa cheap considering d fact dt it’s a charity tingy… I bliv d principle, ‘give to ceaser what belongs to…….’ is stee bin used by dis pple! God is Supa merciful ooo otherwise, this religious organisation shud fry at d instant. Check!