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FIRS move, threat to CSOs existence, says Churchill

By Eniola Daniel
18 September 2021   |   2:10 am
The decision of the Federal Government to extend its tax net to Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the country has attracted the bashing of some of the concerned organisations. Founder, Churchill Foundation, Olakunle Oladunni Churchill, said the move would threaten the existence of CSOs in the county. Churchill said: “This is a controversial issue just…

The decision of the Federal Government to extend its tax net to Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the country has attracted the bashing of some of the concerned organisations.

Churchill


Founder, Churchill Foundation, Olakunle Oladunni Churchill, said the move would threaten the existence of CSOs in the county.

Churchill said: “This is a controversial issue just like the Rural Grazing Area (RUGA) and the social media bill. I think the government is looking for various means to generate revenue and feel that it’s not benefiting from grants some of the NGOs get from outside the country.

But the government must have a rethink on this.

“This move will give the government sweeping powers over civil society to the point of threatening its very existence. This would make it compulsory for all CSOs operating in Nigeria to register with the government and would require them to include details such as the location and duration of proposed activities as well as information on all sources of funding.

“Beyond revenue generation, by extension, this move is aimed at stifling and obstructing the workings of CSOs in Nigeria.”

“When some people want to undermine the contributions of the non-state actors, especially non-profit making organisations, they would want to create every obstacle to achieve that.

He said: “NGOs and CSOs are not-for-profit and the only rationale they have from being exempted from paying is that they are not making money and they are beneficiaries and contributors.