The Oyo State government on Sunday exempted churches and mosques from paying levies and taxes to the coffers of the state .
The government position is in sharp contrast to the immediate past administration which stipulated that certain amount of money be paid by religious houses and corporate bodies, among others as security levies.
Rev. Idowu Ogedengbe, the Executive Assistant to Governor Seyi Makinde stated this at the thanksgiving mass to celebrate the 70th birthday of the Catholic Archbishop of Ibadan Diocese, Most Rev. Gabriel Abegunrin at the Church of Ascension, Bodija, Ibadan.
Rev. Ogedengbe said that the position of the Oyo State government on the controversy of whether or not places of worship in the state are to pay taxes was revised following the criticism which greeted the move during the last administration.
He however noted that since places of worship do business such as establishing schools, universities, hospitals and bakeries, they ought to pay tax to the government since such were profit-making ventures.
Among the dignitaries who attended the occasion were the representative of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan, the President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, Most Rev . Augustine Akubueze as well as members of Olubadan Advisory Council.