Stamp duty account: 'You lied', Nipost to FIRS

Logo of FIRS and NIPOST: FIRS and NIPOST exchange banter over stamp duty
Emeh Joy

The Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST), in response to claims made by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), said the Central Bank of Nigeria opened its stamp duty account under the Treasury Single Account.

FIRS, in a series of tweets made via its official Twitter handle, claimed that NIPOST operated an illegal Stamp Duty Account.

It also vowed that it would ensure that all money in the account is recovered and transferred into the Federation Account. It added that NIPOST must account foe every kobo in the account.

However, in a counter-statement titled, "NIPOST Stamp Duty Account was opened by CBN," the postal agency said the account in question was opened in consultation with the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation.

The postal agency in the statement issued by its General Manager, Corporate Communications, "Frank Alao, said, "We hereby categorically state that the statement is false and made to misinform and mislead members of the public."

It added that the name of the account was NIPOST Stamp Duties Collection Account and that CBN gave instruction to Deposit Money Banks to commence the deduction of N50 stamp duties from bank customers' accounts at the time.

The postal organization said, "The account belongs to the federation, and NIPOST does not have access to whatsoever monies lodged into the account. As such, the question of illegality and misappropriation does not arise".

It further said, "NIPOST wishes to restate that under the extant laws of Nigeria to with NIPOST Act 2004 provides and vests solely in NIPOST, the power to print adhesive postage stamps, which is the instrument for denoting documents and other transaction instruments in compliance with the provisions of the Stamp Duties Act.

NIPOST said the agency only sought proper implementation of the Finance Act and was surprised when FIRS called out the NIPOST Board Chairman on Twitter.

"NIPOST is therefore taken aback when FIRS took to Twitter to call out the Chairman, NIPOST Board, Maimuna Abubakar, who only tried to bring to the attention of the service and the public that NIPOST would be emasculated if the Act is not properly implemented.

"This is more so when there was a meeting between FIRS and NIPOST in July 2013, in the office of the Executive Chairman of FIRS and resolution reached that 'NIPOST is statutory duty-bound to provide the stamps to be used by FIRS at both the federal and state levels".

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