The Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) and the Nigerian Postal Services (NIPOST) have settled their dispute to carry on with the probing of Nigerian banks over remittance of stamp duty funds.
The two government bodies had a disagreement over jurisdiction to probe Nigerian lenders. RMAFC had claimed jurisdiction of the probe after NIPOST initiated the process of investigation of the banks by auditors.
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele had been informed of the state of the stamp duty being collected on behalf of the Federal Government in a letter written by the Postmaster General of the Federation, Bisi Adegbuyi.
NIPOST briefed Emefiele that the body intends to carry out a forensic audit to determine the amount banks had deducted from the accounts of their customers in order to compare it with the remittance by the banks into the Stamp Duty Account.
But RMAFC stopped the process shortly after NIPOST advertised for forensic auditors that would help it carry out the probe of the banks that had been deducting N50 on every deposit with a value of N1,000 and above since January 2016. RMAFC raised the objection of jurisdiction. But a recent Punch report shows both bodies are now working with the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation in order to make the probe possible.
RMAFC are said to have reached the final stages of approving the authorisation that will enable the appointment of auditors that would investigate the remittances into the Stamp Duty Account domiciled in the CBN.
Reason for probe of Banks
There’s doubt in the stamp duty funds remitted to the Federal Government by the banks, and this has prompted a reason for forensic investigations.
According to the report, between January to December 2016, the first year of the operationalisation of the Stamp Duty Act, the Banks remitted a total N3 billion, while N10 billion was realised the following year, 2017, through the collection of stamp duty by the banks.
But NIPOST had projected a N475 billion per annum from the stamp duty collection before the operationlisation of the duty. But the remitted funds didn’t tally with the projection, the reason a probe was instituted by the postal authorities.