Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State has described any thought of taxing churches or mosques in order to generate revenue by governments in the country as “devilish”.
Mimiko, who was speaking at the Dome during the interminational service to mark his seventh anniversary and 40th year creation of the state, submitted that his administration has never contemplated imposing taxes on places of worshipping God.
He said whoever comes to demand taxes from churches directly or in disguise in the state is an agent of the devil who must be handed over to security agents for appropriate action.
His words: “We don’t tax churches, anybody that comes to church deliberately or in disguise, asking for taxes is a messenger of the devil that must be handed over to the security agencies.”
He, however, urged the leadership of places of worship to mandate their members, especially the taxable adults to pay their taxes and other levies to enable government meet its responsibilities and obligation to the people in this era of dwindling resources.
Mimiko declared that his government would neither retrench workers nor reduce workers’ salaries, even as he submitted that the reasonable option for government is to increase its internally generated revenue so that his government’s programmes like the free shuttle bus scheme and free healthcare among others can be sustained.