The Prelate of Methodist Church Nigeria, His Eminence, Dr Samuel Uche has advised Christians to obey Tax laws.
Uche, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Port Harcourt spoke on mixed feelings following an order by the Rivers State Government on taxation for churches domiciled in the state.
The prelate said that tax exemption for churches distinctively depended on the government in power.
“In Methodist Church of Nigeria, we recognise “Pay As You Earn”, so in areas where we are asked to pay tax, we do same and where we have tax exemptions we stay exempted.
“For instance, we enjoy tax exemptions in Imo, Abia and Enugu states but where I am presently serving in Lagos, we pay our taxes.
“All of us at the headquarters of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, over 300 staff including our drivers pay tax because that is the law of the Lagos state government.
“My advice is that each Minister of God should obey the laws of the state wherever they are domiciled, Christians should not be lawbreakers,” he said.
The prelate however, warned against double taxation and urged relevant authorities to avoid the menace.
“We will not support double taxation, a situation where the churches and its workers are separately taxed would amount to double taxation,” the prelate said.
According to him, if Rivers State Government has waved tax exemption for churches and decreed that churches should pay tax not succumbing to pleas by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), then I advise them to comply to such rules.
“However, a wise governor should know that majority of the votes especially in Rivers that ushered him into the seat of power came from Christians.
“And who were those who subtly taught the congregations how to vote? They are the ministers.
“So I advise the governor not to indulge in any policy that could negatively affect his political career,” he said. (NAN)