Dr. Isa Pantami, Minister for Communications and Digital Technology

No justification for FIRS to collect stamp duty ─Minister

Alexander Davis

Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, Nigeria’s Honourable Minister for Communications and Digital Economy, has said it is unfair to deny Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) the right to collect stamp duty.

Dr. Pantami, Daily Trust reports, has therefore, petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari over plans to cede collection of stamp duty to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

The Minister expressed this Friday, January 3, 2020, in Abuja, FCT, that he consequently, has also written to Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, Minister for Finance, Budget and National Planning, in opposing the plan to remove NIPOST from the collection of stamp duty.

Recall that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in 2016, had asked Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) through a circular to deduct N50 stamp duty on every electronic transfer with a value of N1, 000 and above.

According to the source, since then, the FIRS had been contending that it has the responsibility to collect all duties.

It finally got the House of Representatives to insert this responsibility in a proposed amendment to the Stamp Duty Act.

Nonetheless, to Dr. Pantami, it will be unjust to transfer stamp duty collection from NIPOST to FIRS.

“To me, stamp duty should be collected by NIPOST, the same way the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) collects customs duties. The FIRS has been working on being the agency that collects stamp duty.

“It started before my appointment, and I only got to know when the situation had deteriorated. I intervened by informing Mr. President that NIPOST should be the one to collect stamp duty,” the Communications and Digital Economy Minister declared.

He disclosed the FIRS had summoned a meeting of some stakeholders, without involving the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and NIPOST, to deliberate on which agency should collect the revenue.

Pantami said the stakeholders were working for FIRS interests only, and that the NIPOST should be the organisation that collects stamp duty.

“As far as I am concerned, this is one of the injustices that should be challenged, and I will continue to challenge it,” he added.

He, however, dismissed reports that the Federal Government had concluded that FIRS should henceforth collect stamp duty.

“It is not true that the Federal Government has decided that the FIRS should collect stamp duty. I have been at the Federal Executive Council (FEC), and I know that it has not been agreed that FIRS should collect stamp duty.

“The government will decide but we can advise,” the Minister posited.

Kindly Share This Story