With the recent silence after a heated argument emerged since August 2020 between the Nigerian Postal Service, NIPOST, and Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS on which agency among the duo has the legitimate authority to collect and remit stamp duties to the government, one may be quick to think the worst is over with the two federal agencies.

Contrary to complete normalcy, a recent development has brought to the forefront that rather than abating, the crisis seem to be deepening as the office of the Attorney General of the Federal is set to broker peace between the two agencies of government.

Adding his opinion to the crisis, the Accountant General of the Federation, AGF Ahmed Idris in a recent interview as gathered by Taxmobile.Online, the reason for the AGF’s intervention is to embrace the potential of dialogue and discussion rather than invoking legal actions among the two bodies.

The Stamp Duties Act, 2004; the Finance Act, 2019, and the FIRS (Establishment) Act, 2007 empowered the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to administer and collect stamps duties charges.

To prevent further deepening of the faceoff, he encouraged NIPOST during a recent visit to his office by the Postmaster General of the Federation, Dr. Ismail Adebayo Adewusi to look inwards by embracing innovative strides that will eventually increase its revenue-generating potential. He tagged NIPOST as sitting on a ‘goldmine’.

In his words,

 “I want to reiterate that NIPOST is sitting on a gold mine, NIPOST is sitting on assets, physical assets landed properties, NIPOST has vast human and material resources. NIPOST should wake up and live up to expectation because, in all honesty, there is no reason why NIPOST should remain the way it is”.

“NIPOST should think out of the box, there are a lot of things NIPOST can do to generate money. I am posing this challenge to the Postmaster General and his team. Whatever it takes to bring out NIPOST from the present condition should be done. You have assets, you have human capital, you have all it takes and you now have legislation backing you up, so you have everything that you need,” Idris said.

Going back memory lane

The Finance Act 2019 contained an amendment to the Stamp Duty Act, which conferred on the FIRS the exclusive right to collect stamp duty on behalf of the Federal Government.

NIPOST had immediately complained that the Finance Act was negatively affecting its finances as stamp duty formed a significant part of its earnings.

Why the fuss about stamp duties?

FIRS during a committee brief to the House of Representative in August last year opened that it had generated ₦3billion weekly as revenue from stamp duty collection between May to August 2020 from Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) alone.

What Experts had to say

Taxmobile.Online in its Fourth Quarter 2020 Edition of the Nigerian Tax Review, reported that experts in tax administration and law posited that the claim of the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) to the administration of Stamp Duties Act all started as a historical error.

Consequently, the experts had cited provisions of the Stamp Duties Act, 2004; the Finance Act, 2019, and the FIRS (Establishment) Act, 2007 that empowered the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to administer and collect stamps duties charges on behalf of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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