The Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) has reacted to claims by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) that it is operating an illegal Stamp Duty Account.
In its denial of the submission by FIRS, NIPOST described the claims as false and made to misinform and mislead members of the public.
This disclosure was made through a series of tweet posts by NIPOST through their official Twitter handle on Saturday, August 9, 2020.
NIPOST in its statement disclosed that the account 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, in the name of NIPOST Stamp Duties Collection Account when CBN gave instruction to Deposit Banks (DMB) to commence the deduction of N50 stamp duties from bank customers accounts.
The statement from NIPOST reads, ‘’The Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) attention has been drawn to a publication by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) that NIPOST operated an illegal stamp duty account. According to the publication, the Director of Communication and Liaison of FIRS made the statement in a series of tweets.’’
’We hereby state categorically that the statement is false and was made to misinform and mislead members of the public.’’
‘’The account the Director of Communication FIRS made reference to as illegal was opened by the Central Bank of Nigeria under the Treasury Single Account (TSA) in consultation with the office of Accountant General of the Federation, in the name of NIPOST Stamp Duties Collection Account when CBN gave instruction to Deposit Money Banks (DMB) to commence the deduction of #50 stamp duties from bank customers accounts.’’
‘’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.’’
Going further, NIPOST restated that under the extant laws of Nigeria, the NIPOST Act 2004 provides and vests solely in NIPOST the power to print adhesives 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 that it is seeking the proper implementation of the Finance Act. and was therefore surprised when FIRS took to the tweeter to call out the Chairman, NIPOST Board, Barrister Maimuna Yaya Abubakar, who just brought the attention of the Service and public that the agency would be emasculated if the Act is not properly implemented.
The statement recalled that when there was a meeting between FIRS and NIPOST in July 2013 in the office of the Executive Chairman of FIRS, it resolved that NIPOST is statutory duty-bound to provide the stamps to be used by FIRS at both federal and state levels.
It can be recalled that there was been an ongoing dispute between FIRS and NIPOST over who should be the collecting agency for stamp duties.
The Chairperson of the Board of NIPOST, Hajiya Maimuna Abubakar, had during an interview claimed that both the FIRS and the National Assembly took over NIPOST’s ideas about stamp duty to the exclusion of the postal service.
In its reaction, FIRS, while denying such claims said that FIRS is the only agency of federal government charged with the responsibility of assessing, collecting and accounting for all types of taxes including stamp duties.
It states that NIPOST is a government agency established by Decree 41 of 1992 with the function to develop, promote and provide adequate and efficiently coordinated postal services at reasonable rates.