In Nigeria, Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State on Tuesday introduced levies on churches, mosques, and other business organisations in the state.
These levies, according to the state government, were imposed as part of efforts to generate funds to assist security agencies.
The categories of these levies were contained in flyers made available to journalists at an emergency meeting convened by the state government which was held at the House of Chiefs, Parliament Building, Secretariat, Ibadan on Tuesday.
At the meeting were the state commissioner of police, Abiodun Odude; representatives of the GOC of 2 Division, Nigerian Army, Odogbo Ibadan; police area commanders, DSS, Customs, NSCDC, NDLEA, chief executive officers of banks and representatives of Manufacturing Association of Nigeria.
The flyers obtained by Premium Times indicated that religious bodies in class A are expected to pay N60,000 while manufacturing and services in category A are to pay N100,000 annually.
The approved levies for class A (Large) in the manufacturing sector is N100,000 while class B (Medium) is N80,000 and class C (Small) is N60,000 annually.
The rest are those in the services. Class A are to pay N100,000, class B is N80,000 while class C will pay N60,000 annually.
Those in class A, trading, agriculture and forestry and solid minerals are to pay N80,000 while those in the classes B and C are to pay N50,000 and N30,000 respectively annually.
Other religious bodies including churches and mosques were asked to pay N60,000, N40,000 and N20,000 for classes A, B and C respectively.
The notice said that payment of the above levies are necessary to support the state government to ensure lives and property are protected.
“This is to certify the general public that OYSSTF, in pursuance of its statutory function to continue to assist security agencies, is embarking on the implementation of the law (OYSSTF AMENDMENT LAW 2017) recently assented by His Excellency, Oyo State Governor Senator Abiola Ajimobi.
“Further to the above, the board of trustees of OYSSTF in conjunction with relevant stakeholders, having held several consultations, town hall meetings and discussions preceding the commencement of the law, hereby informs the general public that in accordance with section 11 (4) of the Oyo state security trust fund law 2017 which empowers the government to impose levies and rates on “person” which include residents, individuals, associations and corporate bodies or firms domiciled in the state.”
Meanwhile, Mr Ajimobi said the meeting was convened in reaction to an observation of a noticeable increase in the activities of criminals in neighbouring states and attacks on banks.
Mr Ajimobi who was represented by his deputy, Moses Adeyemo, said, “It is common knowledge that before the inception of this present administration, insecurity in form of armed robberies, arson and other violent crimes, as well as lawlessness from the nefarious activities of area boys, had been the order of the day.
“The prevailing peaceful atmosphere in the state has been the result of the zero tolerance for crime by this administration and also through the commitment of the state government to combating crime through steps such as the establishment of Oyo State Joint Security Patrol Squad code-named “Operation Burst” as well as the setting up of the Oyo State Security Trust Fund.
“I can confirm that the installation of closed circuit television (CCTV) in black spots and business districts in the city to monitor the activities of criminals has been completed and is now operational.”
The chairman of the state’s Security Trust Fund, Bayo Adelabu, who is also the gubernatorial candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state noted that the spate of recent armed robberies on banks and the killing of security personnel in neighbouring states had made it necessary to hold the emergency meeting.
He was represented by the Executive Secretary of the trust fund, Femi Oyedipe.