by Linda Ikeji
The management of the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) on Sunday August 9, reacted to the Federal Inland Revenue Service’s claim of operating an illegal Stamp Duty Account.
The FIRS in its statement last week, had also threatened to ensure that all monies in the account were recovered, transferred into the Federation Account and accounted for by NIPOST.
However reacting to the allegation in a statement titled ‘NIPOST stamp duty account was opened by CBN’, the postal agency stated that its stamp duty account was opened by the Central Bank of Nigeria under the Treasury Single Account.
Asides giving out the name of the account as ” NIPOST Stamp Duties Collection Account”, the postal agency further disclosed that CBN directed Deposit Money Banks to commence the deduction of N50 stamp duties from bank customers accounts at the time.
Explaining why it is seeking for proper implementation of the Finance Act, NIPOST recounted how Nigeria just like in other nation had at different times produced adhesive postage stamps and revenue stamps for the Federal Government.
The statement read;
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 made to misinform and mislead members of the public. The account the Director of Communication of 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 NIPOST does not have access to whatsoever monies lodged into the account, as such the question of illegality and misappropriation does not arise.
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.
Historically, the Post in Nigeria, just like in the comity of nations, has at different times produced adhesive postage stamps and revenue stamps for the Federal Government. It is to this end that NIPOST seeks the proper implementation of the Finance Act.
NIPOST is therefore taken aback when FIRS took to the tweeter to call out the Chairman, NIPOST Board, Barrister Maimuna Yaya Abubakar, who only tried to bring the attention of the Service and 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 federal and state levels”.
We wish to reassure members of the public that NIPOST as a responsible government institution has always operated within the ambit of the law. We therefore urge the general public to disregard the statement credited to the Director, Communication and Liaison, FIRS on the issue.