After the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation revealed a few weeks ago that all is set for it to intervene on the prolonged crisis regarding the legitimate government agency permitted to collect stamp duties, many will think this move will end the spree of back and forth between the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS and the Nigerian Postal Service, NIPOST.
Rather than abetting, the crisis seems to be gaining momentum as the FIRS issued a statement just yesterday, Tuesday 16th March 2021 that it remains the only federal agency permitted by law to collect stamp duties on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
This rebuttal came on the heels of a recent report according to a statement by the Minister for Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami during the weekend, that NIPOST had taken over the administration of stamp duties.
The FIRS remarked that the Minister was quoted ‘out of context’ which gave room for mischieve makers to create confusion around the administration of stamp duties. It tagged the report “fake news”.
Setting the records straight, the FIRS stated that NIPOST by Section 46 of the Finance Act 2020 as amended is only allowed to produce the adhesive stamps required by FIRS to denote Stamp Duties.
FIRS’s full rebuttal below,
“The FIRS, therefore, urged taxpayers, tax practitioners, and the public to ignore this unfortunate attempt to confuse by twisting the Minister’s speech”.
“NIPOST would henceforth produce the adhesive stamps required by FIRS to denote Stamp Duties. This position is in line with Section 2 of the Stamp Duties Act (as amended by Section 46 of the Finance Act 2020)”.
The tax agency said the Minister for Communications and Digital Economy Dr. Isa Pantami was “quoted out of context” in suggesting that NIPOST was now in charge of administering stamp duties in the country.
On Friday, March 12th, 2021, NIPOST in a viral report reclaimed the collection of stamp duty charges from the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS). This is according to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami.
The development was thought to have brought an end to the more than three years of controversy and acrimony over the claims of ownership of stamp duty collections in the country between the two Federal Agencies.
His statement as was reported,
“Our efforts regarding the issue of stamp duty collection with other government Institutions have yielded positive results. NIPOST has been recognised as the government agency with statutory and historical authority to be the producer of stamps and recognised for the collection of stamp duties for validation of financial transactions in the country.
“We appreciate Mr. President for listening to our complaints, and we extend our gratitude to him and the Senate and House Committees for their intervention in ensuring that justice was done,” Dr. Pantami said.