The Oyo state government at the weekend exempted churches and mosques from paying levies and taxes to the coffers of the state.
The government position was in sharp contrast to the immediate past administration which stipulated certain amount of money to be paid by religious houses, corporate bodies, among others as security levies.
The Executive Assistant to Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo state, Rev. Idowu Ogedengbe made this known at the thanksgiving mass to celebrate the 70th year birthday of the Catholic Archbishop of Ibadan diocese , Most Rev . Gabriel Abegunrin held at the Church of Ascension, Bodija, Ibadan.
Ogedengbe spoke as the Publisher of the defunct Third Eye newspapers, Chief Akanni Aluko; the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan represented by Oba Fayemi Olumayowa; the President , Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, Most Rev. Augustine Akubueze; Ekerefe of Erefe of Ife , and members of Olubadan Advisory Council including High Chief Eddy Oyewole nodded with enthusiasm.
He clarified its position on the controversy on whether places of worship in the state are to pay taxes or not, following the criticism that greeted the move during the last administration.
Though, he stated that any places of worship that do business , such as establishing of schools, university, hospital, bakeries, and so on must pay tax to the government since it was a profit making venture.