Religious leaders have kicked against security levies imposed on churches and mosques by the Oyo State government, describing it as “unrealistic.”
The state government had during a security summit held on Tuesday announced that religious organisations were also included in security levies.
Churches and mosques, according to the Section 11(4) of the Security Trust Fund Law 2017 of the state, will pay between N20,000 and N60,000 yearly, depending on the size of the religious centre.
Apart from churches and mosques, manufacturing companies would also pay between N80,000 and N100,000 depending on their sizes while agricultural companies would pay N50,000.
Reacting to the levy, the Founder and Spiritual Head of Shafaudeen in Islam, Professor Sabit Ariyo Olagoke, described the levy as “ ill-timed, exploitative and ungodly.”
He said: “The plan of government is ill-timed and wicked. Many people in mosques and churches are groaning under poverty and hunger. Salaries are not paid and the little they are paid are not enough to offset debts of believers in churches and mosques.”
Former President of Aladura Church of Nigeria, Primate Olapade Agoro, said churches and mosques should be exempted from the levy, as “religious organisations are not business outfits.”
The Oyo State Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Benjamin Akanmu urged government to let the levies be minimal.
He said N20,000 might be difficult for churches with a few members to pay.