The Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN) says Federal marriage certificate fees newly introduced by the Nigerian government are extortionate.
Permanent Secretary of the country’s Interior Ministry, Georgina Ehuriah last two weeks announced a compulsory N30,000 ($83.00USD) charge to license worship centers for the conduct of statutory marriages and N21,000 ($58USD) for each marriage certificate.
“This is outright robbery,” said the President of COCIN, Rev. Dr. Dachollom Datiri on Tuesday.
Government according to him should support citizens and organizations concerned with their physical and moral wellbeing and not place unnecessary demands on them.
“The Church will fight this,” he said while hosting the editorial team of Light Bearer newspaper on a courtesy call in Jos.
Editor of the outfit, Mrs. Elizabeth Salami had told the Church leader that silence on the matter could imply endorsement.
Local Governments according to her had taken legal actions against the government but the Church is the main ‘target’ of the policy.
“The conditions for the certification of worship centres demand interior photographs of structures to be registered but we all know that only Churches conduct marriages indoors.
“If 1000 COCIN Churches are to register after two years with N30,000, the Church would lose N30million. If 1000 of its members wed in a month, the FG would be making a monthly revenue of N21million from them. This is a call for action by the Church given the increasing displacements and economic stress hitting communities,” said Salami.