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NIPOST in disagreement with FIRS, says its stamp duty collection account is legal

This disclosure was made through a series of tweet posts by NIPOST.

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NIPOST in disagreement with FIRS, says its stamp duty collection account is legal

The Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) has reacted to claims by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) that it is operating an illegal Stamp Duty Account.

In its denial of the submission by FIRS, NIPOST described the claims as false and made to misinform and mislead members of the public.

This disclosure was made through a series of tweet posts by NIPOST through their official Twitter handle on Saturday, August 9, 2020.

NIPOST in its statement disclosed that the account was opened by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under the Treasury Single Account (TSA) in consultation with the office of Accountant General of the Federation, in the name of NIPOST Stamp Duties Collection Account when CBN gave instruction to Deposit Banks (DMB) to commence the deduction of N50 stamp duties from bank customers accounts.

The statement from NIPOST reads, ‘’The Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) attention has been drawn to a publication by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) that NIPOST operated an illegal stamp duty account. According to the publication, the Director of Communication and Liaison of FIRS made the statement in a series of tweets.’’

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‘’We hereby state categorically that the statement is false and was made to misinform and mislead members of the public.’’

‘’The account the Director of Communication FIRS made reference to as illegal 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, 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.’’

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Going further, NIPOST restated that under the extant laws of Nigeria, the NIPOST Act 2004 provides and vests solely in NIPOST the power to print adhesives postage stamps, which is the instrument for denoting documents and other transaction instruments in compliance with the provisions of the Stamp Duties Act.

NIPOST said that it is seeking the proper implementation of the Finance Act. and was therefore surprised when FIRS took to the tweeter to call out the Chairman, NIPOST Board, Barrister Maimuna Yaya Abubakar, who just brought the attention of the Service and public that the agency would be emasculated if the Act is not properly implemented.

The statement recalled that when there was a meeting between FIRS and NIPOST in July 2013 in the office of the Executive Chairman of FIRS, it resolved that NIPOST is statutory duty-bound to provide the stamps to be used by FIRS at both federal and state levels.

It can be recalled that there was been an ongoing dispute between FIRS and NIPOST over who should be the collecting agency for stamp duties.

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The Chairperson of the Board of NIPOST, Hajiya Maimuna Abubakar, had during an interview claimed that both the FIRS and the National Assembly took over NIPOST’s ideas about stamp duty to the exclusion of the postal service.

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In its reaction, FIRS, while denying such claims said that FIRS is the only agency of federal government charged with the responsibility of assessing, collecting and accounting for all types of taxes including stamp duties.

It states that NIPOST is a government agency established by Decree 41 of 1992 with the function to develop, promote and provide adequate and efficiently coordinated postal services at reasonable rates.

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Chike Olisah is a graduate of accountancy with over 15 years working experience in the financial service sector. He has worked in research and marketing departments of three top commercial banks. Chike is a senior member of the Nairametrics Editorial Team. You may contact him via his email- [email protected]

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. BOY

    August 10, 2020 at 6:27 am

    FIRS has been doing all the thinking….while the sleeping NIPOST finally woke up as money is involved! They should go and think of solutions too and not to be playing on social media.

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COVID-19: FG to launch Rapid Response Register for urban poor

The FG has moved to inaugurate an emergency intervention database for the poor residing in urban centres and affected by the pandemic.

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Nigeria blows past 40,000 COVID-19 cases

The Federal Government has announced that it would inaugurate a COVID-19 Rapid Response Register (RRR), which would be a health emergency response for the poor living in urban centers that have been affected by the pandemic.

This was disclosed by Mr. Joe Abuku, Communications Manager, National Social Safety Nets Coordinating Office (NASSCO), on Sunday in Abuja.

Mr. Abuku said the register would identify Nigerians that have been made poorer due to the pandemic, targeting mainly Traders and SME Owners.

He added that the scheme was designed by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, through NASSCO, in partnership with the World Bank, and will be inaugurated by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on Tuesday, at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja.

What Joe Abuku is saying

  • “This register is being built by NASSCO as an expansion of the existing National Social Safety Nets Project (NASSP). It targets small business owners, street vendors, petty traders, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), and service providers.
  • “Others are low wage employed individuals and families, including daily wage-based laborers, urban poor and destitute (persons with disabilities), and vulnerable families in slum areas, affected by the pandemic.
  • “The category of Nigerians who will be in this register is typically the urban/semi-urban poor engaged in the informal sectors of the economy, who lost their source of livelihood due to the impact of COVID-19 on businesses and jobs. The Federal Government plans to extend cash transfers to households in this register for a period of 12 months.”

He also stated that NASSCO would use geographical satellite sensing to locale the wards where the urban poor live, as the targeting of the poor would be done via cell phone Short Messaging Service (SMS) technology that allows residents of targeted communities register to be assisted by following simple steps using USSD codes.

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The SMS approach would be integrated through data gathered by the National Living Standard Survey Assessments and would be complemented by existing databases of Non-Governmental Organisations and local self-help-support groups.

  • “Mobile phone numbers of those deemed eligible for assistance will be linked to digitized bank accounts to receive cash support, under an expanded cash transfer program of the Federal Government. These cash payments are designed to boost consumption for these households, build their resilience, and in some cases, inject fresh capital into small businesses.”

What you should know

  • Nairametrics reported last year that the World Bank said the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic could make an additional 5 million Nigerians poor.
  • The Poverty and Shared Prosperity Report 2020 by the World Bank Group indicate that between 88 million and 115 million people could fall back into extreme poverty as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • This is in addition to an increase between 23 million and 35 million in 2021, potentially bringing the total number of new people living in extreme poverty to between 110 million and 150 million.

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Covid-19: Nigeria needs serious controls not a second lockdown – House Committee on Education

A member of the lower legislative house has advised the government to focus on serious control measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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Professor Julius Ihonvbere, Chairman, House Committee on Basic Education & Services, said the Federal and States governments should not impose a lockdown, but rather focus on serious control measures to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

He disclosed this during an interview with Channels TV on Sunday evening.

  • “I do not think we need a national lockdown now, I think what we need now is the first instance is serious controls. Let me say that the Governor of Lagos is the ‘poster man’ for the fight against covid-19. If we see you outside without a mask, we will arrest you and charge you to court, that is the kind of courage we need.”

He cited serious controls like buying hand sanitizers and washing materials to schools and urban areas in Lagos as part of the controls that should be commended.

  • “The issue is not a lockdown. If you lock people down, and you are not doing the right thing inside the lockdown, the cases will still increase. They (masses) will break it and will challenge it as they did during the first lockdown. So, the real issue is to bring out the policies and implement them.
  • “The Federal Ministry as a supervisor, yes states have the autonomy, but we give the state’s money from UBEC every year, we give them billions, what are they doing with it?

He urged that the FG should investigate what States use their Universal Basic Education Funds for, as Nigeria is in a time for “retooling and repurpose” and UBEC funding should be utilized in the fight against Covid-19.

What you should know 

  • Nairametrics reported last week that the Federal Government said Nigeria is not contemplating another lockdown and urged Nigerians to ignore social media posts circulating the possibility of another lockdown.

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Covid-19: Ghana’s healthcare could be overwhelmed – President Akufo-Addo

Ghanaian President has warned that he might impose a partial lockdown as healthcare facilities are overwhelmed by growing cases of coronavirus.

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Africa: Ghanaian inflation rate drops for the 3rd straight month to 10.1%, Ghana’s cedi becomes investors’ best choice ahead Nigeria’s naira, Ghana restricts flights into country after detecting Coronavirus but Nigeria ignores measure

The Ghanaian Government has warned that Ghana’s second wave of the coronavirus pandemic is rising fast and could overwhelm its already extended Covid-19 treatment centres.

This was disclosed by President Nana Akufo-Addo on Sunday in a Reuters report.

The Ghanaian President warned that he might impose a partial lockdown in the coming weeks as cases might reach peak levels.

Active cases in Ghana climbed to 1,924 from about 900 since the 5th of January. He also confirmed that the new variant was present in the country, as cases were imported from people entering Ghana.

The President said,

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  • “Our COVID-19 treatment centres have gone from having zero patients to now being full because of the upsurge in infections. At this current rate, our healthcare infrastructure will be overwhelmed.
  • “Work is ongoing to determine the presence and extent of spread of the new variants in the general population.”

What you should know

  • Nairametrics reported that the Federal Government also alerted Nigerians that hospitals across the country were running out of facilities to handle more serious cases of coronavirus infections, as the virus is spreading fast with mild symptoms in some victims and severe illnesses and death in others.

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