The Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning. Zainab Ahmed, has said that the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) would be in charge of sales and collection of stamp duties.
This is coming despite the Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporations and Government Owned Companies (SSASCGOC) and NIPOST workers got the assuarance of the senate that they would carry out the mandate.
The Minister while addressing the press in Abuja said “by the passage of the Finance Bill it will be the Federal Inland Revenue Service that will be collecting the Stamp Duties.”
“It is a revenue for the government, it is a form of tax for every financial transaction that goes on. For example, you send a transfer, you see the bank charges you N50, FIRS is going to be the collection agency,” she added.
However, SSASCGOC had in a letter signed by the president of the union, comrade Mohammed Yunusa and the general secretary comrade Ayo Olorunfemi, which was copied to President Muhammadu Buhari, the Senate president Ahmed Lawan and the Speaker House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila and made available to Daily Trust stated that “The provisions of Stamp Duties Act Cap S8 Laws of the Federation 2004 and the NIPOST Act Cap N127 LFN 2004, has given the sole power to collect stamp duties to NIPOST.”
Comrade Ayo stressed that it is the ‘core mandate’ of NIPOST to collect stamp duty after which five percent of what was collected is used for the development of NIPOST infrastructures Nationwide.
He further noted that “it is no longer an attempt, but is now clear that the Federal Ministry of Finance in collaboration with Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) are ready to take over the responsibility of Nigeria Postal Service by influencing the House of Representatives to insert that they should be responsible for the collection of stamp duty.
He lamented that “Once this is done, NIPOST is finished and the staff is gone, there is no source of revenue and therefore, the financial inclusion programme of this government will go into extinction. Because it is only NIPOST that has a federal presence in all the villages across Nigeria.”
Daily Trust gathered that the problem started when in line with the digital economy of the federal government, NIPOST sponsored a bill to migrate from manual to digital on the collection of stamp duty.
He said from the analysis, about N500 billion would be collected from the first year with an electronic collection of stamp duty, adding that subsequent years the amount would run into trillions.
“Now that the federal government announced the establishment of Ministry of Communication and Digital economy you don’t expect NIPOST to continue to be analog. So we sponsored a bill to give us the power to do electronic stamp so that we can use the electronic stamp to denote our receipt and other business transaction.
“And all of a sudden because we put the financial implications, the huge revenue derivable from the project, the Federal Inland Revenue Service connived with the minister of Finance to corner the process.
“Ours is a business, we produce stamp and sale. The inland services don’t produce, what we produce is a stamp and if it changes from manual to digital, that shouldn’t be their business.” He said.
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