Poll Results: Should churches open their accounts for scrutiny? See how Nigerians voted
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Poll Results: Should churches open their accounts for scrutiny? See how Nigerians voted

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Poll Results: Should churches open their accounts for scrutiny? See how Nigerians voted

Recently, the issue of how much regulation government should have over nonprofit bodies like churches became a matter for public discourse, when a new regulation by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) of Nigeria threw up a lot of controversies.

The new regulation also led to the resignation of Pastor Enoch Adeboye as the Nigerian overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) arguably one of the biggest churches in the country, with membership in the millions, and branches spread across the country, and abroad.

As a fall out of his resignation, political intrigues began to play out, as his ‘supporters’ within the government did not take it lightly with the regulatory body that came up with the new law.

This ostensibly led to the sacking of the secretary of the FRC, Mr Jim Obazee, whom unconfirmed reports say was adamant about not withdrawing the new law.

As was to be expected, government suspended the new law right after the sacking of Obazee.

However, debates began to fly about the propriety or otherwise of the need to scrutinise the finances of organisations set up as non profit bodies.

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This prompted Ripples Nigeria to take out a poll on just what Nigerians think is the best approach to the issue.

A good number of Nigerians are of the opinion that there is the need for non-profit bodies like churches to make their financial activities more open.

The question: Should churches open their accounts for public?, drew well over two thousand comments on social media with Nigerians seemingly on both side of the divide as to whether or not government should exercise more regulatory influence on churches.

In the poll, 52.3 per cent of respondents answered yes, with many comments noting that such churches that have branches outside the shores of Nigeria subject themselves to government regulations, and keep their account books open for scrutiny.

They therefore wonder why the reverse should be the case in Nigeria, especially since the public are the ones who donate the funds.

On the offside, 43.8 per cent of respondents voted no, with some comments pointing out that the church is a spiritual body that should not be subjected to worldly, or government regulation, or control.

However, 3.8 per cent of respondents were undecided and voted thus.

The poll, which was well promoted on social media, reached well over 500, 000 Nigerians, and attracted votes from 577 respondents, with thousands of comments, and contributions.

 

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