The Minister of Communications, Mr. Adebayo Shittu has refute claim that the ministry authorized the Nigerian Postal Agency (NIPOST) to appoint agents for the collection of stamp duties in several sectors of the economy.
According to reports, NIPOST had last week interviewed about 30 new companies and individuals who had applied to serve as agents to NIPOST for the collection of stamp duties.
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In a statement issued by a consultant to the ministry, Mr. Tajudeen Kareem, the minister, said that the process should be suspended until grey areas surrounding the agency’s claims are sorted out and until a substantive Post-Master General has been appointed.
Kareem said: “The Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, has received information that a committee purportedly raised by the acting Post-Master General has commenced the process of appointing agents to collect stamp duty on behalf of the Nigerian Postal Service and by implication, on behalf of the Federal Government.
“The minister hereby serves this warning that NIPOST has not been authorised to appoint new agents in respect of collection of stamp duty.
“The minister recalls that before this dispensation, a few corporate bodies and organisations were claiming to have an agreement with NIPOST in respect of this matter. There are presently, in the public domain, many claims and counter-claims.
“It is therefore expedient to thread with caution and ensure that all issues bordering on the administration of the stamp duty by NIPOST are done in line with the Federal Government’s commitment to due process, transparency and accountability. The minister has therefore directed the suspension of any new process in this regard until a new Post-Master General is appointed by the Federal Government in due course.”
He added, “The Federal Government has projected an accrual in excess of N2.5 trillion from payment of stamp duties from the financial services industry as outlined by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
“This is indeed a significant contribution to national revenue pegged at N3.8 trillion in the 2016 budget. It therefore needs no emphasis to state that the government places a big premium on earnings from the enforcement and diligent collection of fees on stamp duty.”
The CBN had in January issued a circular directing all banks and financial institutions to charge stamp duties on lodgements into current accounts with the value of N1, 000 and above.
The directive had generated so much controversy as bank customers had been protesting the N50 charge which banks have started implementing.