.As FIRS rakes N66bn from stamp duties
The Federal Government has concluded plans to recover a backlog of unremitted revenues accruing to the federation account through the stamp duty tax in the last six years.
This is even as the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has generated the sum of N66 billion from stamp duties between January and May of this year.
The move by the federal government to concluded plans to recover the backlog of unremitted revenues was made known on Tuesday at the official inauguration of the inter-ministerial committee on Audit and Recovery of Back Years Stamp Duties and the Launch of the FIRS Adhesive Stamp which took place in Abuja.
In a statement by Abdullahi Ismaila Ahmad, director at the Communications and Liason department of the FIRS, the announcement was made by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari, and noted that there was “assurance that the collection from stamp duty will be second to oil revenue, as it has the potential to yield up to a trillion naira if properly harnessed.”
Consequently, he said the President has directed that all institutions of government and related stakeholders to support the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Audit and Recovery of Back Years Stamp Duties to enable it to succeed on its assignment.
Mustapha said: “In the face of dwindling oil revenue, and the global shift away from oil dependent technological products, it is even more compelling now to begin to think out of the box in order to safeguard the future of our country. Therefore, this administration has resolved to widen the revenue base by activating stamp duties revenue collection which has been neglected for more than 20 years.
“I hereby also direct and request that all relevant MDAs, particularly the Central Bank of Nigeria, NIBBS, MDBs, FIRS, NIPOST should give maximum cooperation to the committee in the discharge of its mandate.
“In order to ensure transparency and accountability in the recovery of back year stamp duty, the President further directed that all recoveries made by the Committee be remitted to appropriate stamp duty account maintained by FGN with the Central Bank of Nigeria.
In his remarks, Executive Chairman of FIRS, Muhammad Nami, disclosed that the Service has grown revenues from Stamp Duties by over 1,000 per cent, totalling N66 billion in the first five months of 2020 alone, compared with N6 billion naira collected from January to May 2019.
Mr Nami attributed this increase to the dynamism triggered by Finance Act 2019, sums warehoused by the CBN in respect of prior years, and the deployment of technology and stakeholders’ collaboration.
According to him, the introduction of the FIRS Stamp Duties Adhesive Stamp will, among other things will plug the revenue sink-hole; enable proper accountability and transparency; simplify the administration of Stamp Duties, and reduce disputes.
Also speaking, Nigeria’s Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, who launched the adhesive stamp officially, hailed the FIRS in its revenue collection drive, and promised that the National Assembly would continue to acknowledge, encourage, and support the initiatives and efforts of revenue-generating agencies of government.
According to him, “The Senate and the National Assembly will continue to provide the necessary legislative backings and oversight functions that will help maximise the revenue of the government and ensure that government is better positioned to deliver its mandate.’
Adding her voice to the subject matter, the Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, highlighted the importance of Stamp Duty as a tax type, noting that it opens untapped revenue sources for increased revenue collection, while also acknowledging the role of the adhesive stamps in enhancing voluntary compliance by taxpayers.