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The Needless Hoopla Over CAMA – Tunde Ipinmisho



Strident noise has filled the air over the new Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) recently signed into law by the President. The loudest noise has not been from the companies on the Nigerian Stock Exchange or from other major players in commerce and industry. It has been from “the church” or let me say a segment of it which has seized the megaphone of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to amplify its opposition to the law.

I have spoken to those who know and the consensus is that the some of the churches in Nigeria, especially those run by billionaire Pastor/Founders, are afraid that the application of the new law will lift the cloak of secrecy around the finances of the church.

The members who fund the churches hardly know how much comes in and how the money is applied neither is there a clear line of division in many cases between the money of the church and that of the Founder.

We have gone through this before and the government was blackmailed into sacking the Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigerian.

The provisions of CAMA, which some of the church leaders find objectionable, have only attempted to operationalize the very tenets of transparency and accountability enshrined in the Holy Bible. Who is afraid of openness and transparency in church finances?

Moslems have no issues with the new law because hardly is there any Islamic Assembly where one man alone controls all the levers of authority and holds the key to the treasury. The Catholic Church, Baptist Church, Foursquare Gospel Church and the established churches have no objection to the provisions of the law. From where is this noise coming?

Government should stand on what is right. Why are Nigeria churches with branches in Britain subject to the UK Charity Commission are afraid to subject themselves to scrutiny at home? Are they are afraid that the public will know the vastness of their riches and other worldly acquisitions?

Where I worship God, we are unafraid of scrutiny. Indeed, a major part of the church calendar are the annual and quarterly general meeting of all members where all the activities of the church and the books of account are laid bare for members to see and ask questions. If you are doing what is right with the money of the church, you should not entertain any worry about scrutiny by the same government that registered the church and granted it legitimacy.

On this matter, government should not succumb to the blackmail of the Pastor/Founders masquerading as The Church.
I am waiting for the darts from those who will ask that we touch not the anointed and “do my prophet no harm.”

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