Stamp Duty: NIPOST denies operating illegal account

Stamp Duty: NIPOST denies operating illegal account

Nigerian Postal Services (NIPOST) has refuted recent online claims by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) that it was operating an illegal stamp duties account. This was contained in a statement signed by Franklin Alao, NIPOST General Manager, Communications, on Monday.

Director of Communication and Liaison, FIRS, Mr Abdullahi Ahmad, had in a reaction to a tweet by NIPOST’s board Chairman, Maimuna Abubakar, accused it of illegally running a stamp duty account. Abubakar had tweeted about FIRS stealing the idea of NIPOST and accepting payments for stamp duties, Daily Times gathered.

However, Ahmad had in his reaction stated that the FIRS was determined to ensure that all money collected by NIPOST into its illegally operated Stamp Duties Account were fully remitted into the Federation Account.

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“FIRS would also ensure full recovery of any kobo not accounted for in that account in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s charge to the Inter-ministerial committee on the recovery of stamp duties from 2016 till date.”

According to Alao, the account which the FIRS made reference to as “illegal” was opened by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), under the Treasury Single Account (TSA), in consultation with the office of Accountant General of the Federation.

He stated that the account was opened when CBN gave instructions to Deposit Money Banks to begin the deduction of ₦50 stamp duties from bank customers’ accounts. He said the name of the account is NIPOST Stamp Duties Collection Account and belonged to the Federal Government and, as such, NIPOST did not have access to whatsoever money was lodged therein.

Alao added that under the extant laws of Nigeria, NIPOST Act 2004, it provides and vests solely in NIPOST the power to print adhesive postage stamps, being the instrument for denoting documents and other transaction instruments. He said this was in compliance with the provisions of the Stamp Duties Act and historically, the Post in Nigeria, just like in the comity of nations, had at different times produced adhesive postage stamps and revenue stamps for the Federal Government.

He said NIPOST was statutorily duty bound to provide the stamps to be used by FIRS at both federal and state levels if the Finance Act was implemented.

“We have tried to bring the attention of the Service and public that NIPOST will be emasculated if the Act is not properly implemented,” he said.

Alao reassured members of the public that NIPOST, a responsible government institution, had always operated within the ambit of the law. He, therefore, urged the general public to disregard the statement credited to FIRS in relation to operating an illegal stamp duty account.

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Olamide Francis

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