CASON discusses Church finance @ 2024 AGM, calls for caution

by Church Times

The Church Administration Society of Nigeria has called on church leaders to apply due diligence in the handling of church finance warning that if care is not taken they may run foul of the  Company and Allied Matters Law.

The society gave the warning just as it discussed issues surrounding church finance at its 2024 Annual General Meeting on March 25.

The lead paper that formed the fulcrum of the discussion was delivered by Mr Segun Shelleh

Income and property of Church

On income and property of a church organisation Shelleh disclosed that Section 838(i) of CAMA 2020 states that, “the income and property of a body or association whose trustees are incorporated under this part of this Act shall be applied solely towards

“The promotion of the objectives of the body as set forth in its Constitution; and that no portion from it shall be paid or transferred directly or indirectly, by way of dividend,bonus, or otherwise by way of profit to any of the members of the association.”

Shelleh explained that the implication of this provision of the Act is that the funds and the assets of the organization must strictly be used to uphold the objectives of the Church as laid out in the legal Constitution submitted to the Commission at the incorporation of the Church.

No profit sharing

“No portion of the gains resulting from the operations of the Church can be shared or distributed amongst the members of the Church or its leadership, comparable to what obtains in a business enterprise where profits are shared amongst the shareholders.”

He noted that “Section 838(ii) also did pronounce that no member of the council or governing body (except for the ex-officio) shall be entitled to or paid remuneration or salary of any type unless for the repayment of out-of-pocket expenses, reasonable rent for premises demised or let to the body or reasonable fee for services rendered.”

Section 838(iii) according to him “also spelt out the consequence of contravening the provision of Section.838 (i) & (ii) by stating clearly that a person who knowingly acts or joins in acting in contravention of this section, he is liable to refund such income or property so misapplied to the association.”

Contravening the provision of the act could also lead to the suspension of the trustees of the Church in accordance to Section 839(vi) of the Act.

Follow the constitution in your spending

Shelleh advised that the funds of the Church should be used for the purpose set out in the Constitution of the Church.

“Any legitimate offering the Church is interested in pursuing which is not in the Constitution, should be included in the Constitution forthwith by approaching the Commission to alter the Constitution in line with Section 833 of CAMA 2020″

He advised also that“Any person who is a trustee of the Church and may need to draw salaries from the organization, should immediately consider removing himself/herself from the trustees and remain just a staff of the organization rendering his/her service to the Church organization dutifully in compensation for every salary or remuneration received.”

Dormant account

On dormant account  run by churches he said, “Sections 842(i) & (ii) of CAMA 2020 empowers deposit money banks in Nigeria to notify the Commission without delay, with the details of any dormant bank account(s) (as defined under the relevant banking regulation), in its custody that is in the name of an Incorporated Trustee.

“The Commission is charged by the section of this Part of this Act upon receiving the notification from the bank, to request the affected Incorporated Trustee to provide evidence of its activities within 15 days of the receipt of such request by the Commission.

“The failure of the Incorporate Trustees to satisfactorily within the 15 days window stated in the Act to provide such evidence, the Commission may dissolve the Incorporated Trustee and give direction to the bank to transfer the credit balance in the concerned bank account(s) to the bank account of any specified “

He recommended that churches should not maintain more than five bank accounts per time for easy monitoring.

“It should be noted that government is determined to stamp out terrorism in the country. The funding of which incidentally have been linked to some NGO’s and even faith-based organization.”he said

Statements of account

He also sounded a note of warning on the need to always submit the statements of account of the church to CAC adding defaulting churches risk being fined.

Shelleh however counselled that churches should do more of self-regulation. “If we refuse to self-regulate as a Church, the Body of Christ, then the government will enforce it on us, and it may not be a beautiful thing at such moment.”


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