It is unfair to deny NIPOST stamp duty collection – Pantami

The Minister of Communications, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami

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

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

Dr Pantami said on Friday in Abuja that he has also written to the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, opposing the plan to remove the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) from the collection of stamp duty.

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

Since, then the FIRS had been contending that it had the responsibility to collect all duties and finally got the House of Representatives to insert this responsibility in a proposed amendment to the Stamp Duty Act.

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

He said: “To me, stamp duty should be collected by NIPOST, the same way the Nigerian Customs Service collect 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.”

He said 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.

He said the stakeholders were working for FIRS’s interests only and that the NIPOST should be the organisation that collects stamp duty.

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

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

He said, “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 and I know that it has not been agreed that FIRS should collect stamp duty. The government will decide but we can advise.”

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