Published On: Fri, Apr 26th, 2019

Reps probe NIPOST, CBN, banks over N20trn unremitted stamp duty taxes

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By Christiana Ekpa

The House of Representatives yesterday began investigations into the allegations of unremitted stamp duty taxes to the Treasury Single Account (TSA) by the Nigerian Postal Services (NIPOST), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and some Commercial Banks.
The resolution of the House was sequel to the adoption of a motion under matters of urgent public importance moved by Hon. Goni Lawan, Member representing Busari/Gaidam/Yunusari federal constituency of Yobe State.
Lawan lamented that the federal government has lost trillions of Naira consequent upon unremitted monies accrued from stamp duties.
Lawan said, “stamp duties are statutory taxes levied on legal instruments including cheques, receipts, military commissions, licenses and land transaction documents”.
He further explained that, “Few years ago however, banks were mandated to collect stamp duties from account holders.
“While the deductible amount per bank account seems small, it cumulatively adds up to money in billions and trillions of naira a d must be subjected to the full disclosure and transparency.
“The complicit irregularities by which public institutions including the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), Nigeria Postal Services(NIPOST), among others, have overtime failed to remit stamp duty taxes into the consolidated revenue account running into trillions.
“NIPOST entered into an agreement in 2014 to collect stamp duties and armed with the masters service agreement with NIPOST, the School Banking Honours (SBH) approached the Central Bank of Nigeria for authorization to engage Deposit Money Banks (DBMs) and other Stamp Duties collection agents and the CBN gave required approval.”
According to Lawan, “all efforts to get details of remittances of funds realized from stamp duty taxes through the freedom of information Act were not successful by domestic and foreign civil society organizations.
“These would have been used to pay salaries, provide infrastructure and financing economic development in the country or at least should have generated some interest in the privates where the fund is domiciled in the commercial banks.
“Due to the concern mounting over the non-remittance, it is clearly an obvious disobedience to TSA policy for the stamp duties fund to be hidden in commercial banks instead of been remitted to the TSA account”.
Contributing, Tajudeen Yusuf (PDP-Kogi), said there were lots of linkages in the system, adding there is an urge need for the House to look into the matter.
Also Rep. Johnson Agbonayinma (PDP-Edo) supporting the motion said the issue of linkages was serious which needed to be addressed and called for member’s support for the motion to see the light of the day.
Rep. Peter Akpatason said people were deliberately violatimg the laws.
“It is a serious violation for any agencies to refused to remit these funds that are supposed to be in nation’s account.
The Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara said the banks are sitting on the monies. “It is good for us to support this motion.
Rep.Bode Ayorinde () These monies are still with banks who collected them on behalf of government The Deputy Speaker Yusuf Lasun said it waa painful what rhe banks are doing and commended the mover of the motion.
Diri Douye with a cavient said the motion had been moved before and sent to the Senate and urged that the Committee on Rules and Business to ensure iy had not been moved before.
The House adopted the motion and mandated the ad- hoc Committee to conclude the assignment within four weeks and report back to it for further legislative action.

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