Bauchi State Government to Tax Churches and Mosques
Bauchi State Government has announced plans to start registering and taxing all religious organisations, as a means of generating revenue for the state.
The government also plans to conduct a survey of both churches and mosques in the state by gathering all their contacts and addresses for security and political reasons.
While speaking on the achievements of the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Community Relations since 2015, the state Commissioner, Baba Madugu also disclosed that the Bauchi State government had in the last two years, spent N95,111, 300 for Quranic recitation competitions annually.
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He also said the details of these worship places will help the State to centralise all the religious activities, improve security and political benefits which will, in turn, promote maximum service delivery.
“The ministry intends to embark on the registration of worship places and taxing beneficiary organisations who benefit from the services of the government. It also intends to undertake the survey of all places of worships (mosques and churches) throughout the state, including their addresses and contacts for security and political reasons. The ministry intends to solicit the centralisation of all religious activities so as to achieve maximum service delivery,” he said.
Baba Madugu also disclosed that it has spent N71,800,000 for Ramadan feeding programmes from 2015 to 2017. According to him, the state government had approved N23 million for the Ramadan feeding in 2015, and more than 200 mosques benefited, while in 2016, N23,800,000 million was approved and 255 mosques benefited. This year, N25 million was approved for the Ramadan feeding with 255 mosques benefiting from the programme, Madugu said.
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He listed some of the ministry’s challenges to include the inadequate release of funds, inadequate staff, the absence of an enabling law on citing of worship places, graveyards and cemeteries, inadequate number of official vehicles and the shortage of furniture and other office equipment.
Similarly, the Bauchi State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Nasrudeen Mohammed, has also disclosed that government has spent the sum of N90m to purchase horses for the six emirate councils in the state.
At a ministerial press briefing at the state secretariat earlier in the week, the Commissioner also announced that government had spent N275, 869, 840 for routine immunisation in the last two years.
According to him, the state government also spent N55, 007, 300 for the printing and distribution of revenue receipts for the 20 local government councils and production of government approved scheme of service for local government employees.
Mohammed said the government, through the ministry, “purchased horses for six emirate councils to maintain the culture and traditions of the state at the cost of N90, 000, 000.”
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“The government also purchased 25 Toyota Hilux vehicles and their accessories and distributed them to the security outfits in the state at the cost of N252,000, 000.Routine immunisation to eradicate polio in Bauchi State cost the state N137,934,920 annually,” Mohammed said.