Lagos Council Accused of Demanding Money from Churches for Fumigation

Council officials asked some churches to pay as much as N15,000 for fumigation.

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Residents of Oshodi-Isolo local government area have accused officials of the local council of extorting money from churches in the community in the guise of money for fumigation and clearance certificates.

According to a report by Punch, council officials asked some churches to pay as much as N15,000 for fumigation. Some of the residents complained that after they have carried out fumigation of their properties themselves, council officials would demand for clearance certificates or money as replacement.

According to the pastor of a Pentecostal Church who refused to be named;

“They asked if those who did the fumigation gave us a certificate and we said no. They said we should prepare for them because when they come for inspection, they would demand a certificate of fumigation from us. We told them it’s not part of the listed items by the Lagos State Government. But they insisted that it’s a requirement for them.”

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“We asked how much it would cost and they said N15,000. We were surprised and told them that we did not have any money and we had given a lot of palliatives to the community. After some haggling, they said we should pay N10,000, which we said we could not afford. A community leader told them not to come to our church yesterday (Sunday), and we would sort it out this week.”

Another pastor however countered the allegations saying his own church was not harassed by council staff.

According to Pastor Barnabas Otoibhi, the matter of fumigation was discussed among local members of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).

“It was a meeting with religious organisations and we were addressed by the Secretary to the local government, Taoheed Abiola; and Special Assistant on the Environment, Yusuf Adesanya. We were told that churches would fumigate and the cost would be paid at 50 per cent ratio to be shared by the church and the government.”

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