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The Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) has said its stamp duty account 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.
The service made the clarification following a tweet by the Director of Communication and Liaison of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Abdullahi Ahmad, alleging that NIPOST operated an illegal stamp duty account.
“The FIRS is determined to not only ensure that all monies collected by NIPOST into its illegally operated Stamp Duties Account are fully remitted into the Federation Account but also make sure that any kobo not accounted for in that account is legally recovered,” Mr Ahmad had tweeted.
In its response through a statement by its spokesperson, Franklin Alao, NIPOST said the account was opened 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.
“NIPOST wishes to reinstate that under the extant laws of Nigeria to wit 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, Maimuna 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,” it said.
It also said it wishes 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”.
NIPOST and the FIRS recently engaged in public spat over which agency has the responsibility to collect stamp duties.