Churches must be prepared to pay tax from their businesses, says FRCN



The Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN) has called on the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) to delist churches that are not prepared to pay tax from their business ventures.

The Chief Executive Officer of the council, Mr Jim Obazee, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday.

He said that the call became necessary in order to ensure accountability and probity in the financial activities of religious bodies especially churches and other non-profit ogranisations.

“Religious organisations are the ones saying they are not bringing their audited accounts. But they don’t really have a very strong platform to stand on. We will do one more workshop to educate them.

“And then we call on Corporate Affairs Commission to start delisting them. They are registered with Corporate Affairs Commission.

“If they are registered with CAC under part C as non- profit organisation and they refuse to be accountable – because when they do their registration, they put within the registration documents they gave to CAC that they will be holding Annual General Meeting and presenting to their members audited financial statements – and we lay this before the CAC, they will delist them.

“And once they delist them, they seize to be non-profit and they become with profit. So every of their collection will now be subject to tax.“

Obazee said that the council was planning a roundtable with the leadership of churches and other non-profit organisations over the new accounting standards the council had earlier introduced to them.

“Who are those that render accounts? Any entity, who collects money, whether you are taking money from the bank or you are taking money from investors, you have to render stewardship.

“That is our major challenge with the churches. We are insisting that non-profit organisations should prepare accounts and send to us and churches are in court fighting us.

“So we are wondering why people who ordinarily talk about giving your account, teaching you how to account to God, how you run your life are refusing to account to stakeholders on how they manage funds that are received from people who believe in the objectives that they are pursuing.

“Government business is to protect its citizens and citizens are the ones putting its money in all these not for profit.

“So we want to know; how accountable are they? and if they pursue non-charitable activities like running schools, hospitals, airlines and all of that, we want them to account for those ones separately as profit-making entities.“

Obazee said that henceforth, religious bodies would be expected to submit to the council their statement of financial position, statement of income and expenditure, statement of changes in net assets and statement of cash flows.

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  • aisha ani

    About time

  • Cypo

    Una go fail and fall like pack of Cards. Hahahaha

    • EBI

      Actually Obasee lukes like an exconvict. He looks hungry. A good bread of life would not be bad for him… Churches help!

      • Musah Shaka

        @EBI, it shows the satanic tendency in you by referring to a regulator like an ex convict, those who are leading you by the nose, collecting your sweat and hard earn money by modern day slavery are not yet convicts abi? If there is nothing to hide, let them prepare account and submit or they stop patronizing CAC at registration to hoodwink mumus like you

      • New Nigerian

        He looks smart and not over bloated..very healthy. we need more of our people to look like him, actually

  • emmanuel kalu

    GOOD. it is time this churches start to show what they are doing?

  • EBI

    So you are expecting Church members to pay tax to the government and pay part of the money given to the Church as tax again? You must be kidding. You think you can persicute the Church? Do you do the same to mosques?You think the Church is a soft target? Obazee do you pay tax on the money you give?

    • fld8778

      Don’t be ignorant. There is a constitutional provision for registering as non profit which is accountability on how “sheeps” money are used by the “shepherd” but the churches don’t want to adhere to that provision for obvious reasons. You can’t have your cake and eat it. Anybody claiming non profit must submit to accountability or lose that status. The resistance by the churches says a lot about the “lord’s workers”. Little wonder some big nigerian churches based in UK were having problems with the authorities.

  • Femi dasilva

    Obazee’s FRCN had started on a very very wrong footing. His language is filled with enmity, disrespect and classic unprofessional representations.

    1. This is Nigeria, a very very religious people who guard their faiths with their lives. If at all you want religious institutions to pay tax, your approaches had short circuited your purpose.

    2. Which big churches had problems with the UK Charity Commission? What were the problems and what were the outcome? Obazee’s intention was blackmail and nothing short of it.

    3. Charitable Companies support particular charities. Does he think just offerings could build schools, provide soup kitchen, scholarships hospitals, drug rehabs, counselling, chaplaincies and other charitable operations of religious organizations?

    4. The UK government gives back to every charity 28% of every of donations received by these churches!

    Obazee should be removed and a more tactile, wise person be appointed

  • Larry

    REMEMBER JESUS paid tax and the disciples paid tax.
    And Jesus never said the church should go against the law of the government. He said “give to Caesar, what is Caesar’s”.
    So it is no sin if the government should ask the church to pay tax.
    This is why I always encourage church goers to always read the bible, know the bible before they start arguing with things that will make them offend God.
    Don’t fight for the church or any pastor. God is able to fight for Himself.
    As for you EBI, remember every idle word will be judged. Stop abusing people.
    Femi dasilver- as saying that Nigerians are very religious people. Yes the bible says that these people worship me with their mouth and praise me with their lips but their hearts are so far from me. (meaning not the hearer of the word will be saved but the doer). The crime rate in Nigeria to me, doesn’t reflect the number of churches in that country.
    Femi, before you start replying me, I must tell you I live in Europe and I know about charity work better than you.

  • New Nigerian

    Summarily…everyone (Individual and corporate entities) equal before the law…no sacred cows, no more. We tried that and it almost killed us all. Way to go!

  • O. Adewole

    Thank God, the govt is waking up. Time don reach to talk the truth. The overdo of our churches don too much. Na dis kind divide the 1st republic of church – wey bi say church get money pass the the entire country, the pope come be the richest person in the world. Jesus Christ was not richer that his disciples, no separate lifestyle and that was why they hired Judas to show Jesus out. You don’t really need a private jet to evangelise. You can go online. You will even more souls by doing so. And if you think you have to be everywhere every time, learn from Moses, his in-law told to delegate. Apostle Paul said, it’s not everything that is legal that is good for me. I support that our churches should be taxed. Chikena.

  • Collins Edges

    If you guys should look at the statements, it says churches should pay tax on their profit making businesses, like the air lines and schools and hospitals, that the churches bill people to use and they make profit from it. that is all I can see from all the statements I can see above, and there is noting wrong in that. It did not say the churches should pay tax on the so called offerings made in the churches. give to Caesar what is Caesar’s.

  • iniinyang

    When I was growing up, there was accountability in the church. Every Sunday the previous Sunday’s income will be announced in church but today that is no more. Obazee mentioned 2 things which most of us chose to ignore; first that the country has the responsibility to protect its citizens and secondly if churches are involved in business then such will have to pay tax in line with constitutional provisions. I wonder what is wrong here, what is the church hiding from that they don’t want their accounts audited, it is a constitutional requirement that all the accounts of all registered organizations are audited annually and this submitted for government scrutiny, this also have significant security implications. Please lets not be gullible, unless the churches have skeletons in their cupboard, those that live above board have nothing to fear.