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Business News

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.’’

‘’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.

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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.

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.

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]

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    Business News

    FG to distribute 10 million LPG gas cylinders in 1 year

    The FG is set to inject up to 10 million gas cylinders into the market to help improve safety and deepen cooking gas utilization.

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    The Federal Government has announced plans to inject 5 to 10 million Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinders into the market in the next one year.

    This is to help improve safety and deepen LPG (otherwise known as cooking gas) utilization across the country.

    This disclosure was made by the Programme Manager, National LPG Expansion Implementation Plan, Mr Dayo Adeshina, at a sensitisation workshop on LPG Adoption and Implementation for Industry Stakeholders, on Wednesday in Lagos.

    According to a report from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Adeshina said the National LPG Expansion Implementation Plan, domiciled in the Office of the Vice President, was committed to achieving Nigeria’s target of 5 million Metric Tonnes of LPG consumption annually by 2027.

    What the Programme Manager for LPG Expansion Implementation Plan is saying

    Adeshina said, “The Federal Government is working towards injecting five to 10 million cooking gas cylinders into the market within the next one year. We are starting the cylinder injection under the first phase in 11 pilot states and FCT, with two states from each of the geopolitical zones.

    The states are Lagos, Ogun, Bauchi, Gombe, Katsina, Sokoto, Delta, Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Enugu, Niger and the Federal Capital Territory. The cylinders will be injected through the marketers. The marketers will be responsible for the cylinders and the exchange will take place in homes and not in filling stations.

    What this means is that going forward, cylinders will not be owned by individuals but by the marketers who will ensure that they are safe for usage.’

    Adeshina pointed out that apart from household consumption, the government was trying to increase LPG usage in agriculture, transportation and manufacturing adding that this will enable the country to reduce CO2 emission by about 20% and create millions of jobs for Nigerians.

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    He said that the government had also granted waivers on importation of LPG equipment and removed Value Added Tax (VAT) on LPG in addition to investment in infrastructure.

    The President of the Nigerian Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association, Mr Nuhu Yakubu, said efforts should be made to ensure the availability, accessibility and affordability of cooking gas in the country adding that this would encourage more Nigerians to embrace gas usage in their homes with the attendant benefits to the country.

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    Mr Olalere Odusote, Lagos State Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, said the population of Lagos makes it imperative for residents to adopt cleaner energy sources for cooking, transportation and power generation adding that the government was targeting the conversion of 45% of about 4 million vehicles in the state to autogas over a four-year period in partnership with marketers.

    What you should know

    • It can be recalled that the Federal Government had in November 2020, announced plans for the conversion of cars to autogas in a bid to have cheaper and cleaner energy especially with the high cost of petrol.
    • The government at different levels are pursuing cleaner energy sources for cooking, transportation and power generation.

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    Business

    JAMB bans use of email by candidates for UTME, DE registration

    JAMB has announced that candidates for the UTME and Direct Entry will no longer be required to provide their email addresses at the point of registration.

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    The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has announced that candidates for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) and Direct Entry will no longer be required to provide their email addresses at the point of registration.

    The new adjustment is to protect candidates from various forms of manipulation and distortion of their personal details by some fraudulent cyber café operators.

    The Registrar of JAMB, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, who made the disclosure while addressing newsmen at the board’s headquarters on Wednesday in Bwari, Abuja, said the change, would take effect from Thursday, April 15, 2021.

    What the JAMB Registrar is saying

    Oloyede said, “They gain access to profiles of these candidates under the pretense of creating an email address for them. Then they change and block the candidates from receiving messages from the board. They also extort them after they change their passwords.

    In view of this, the board has come up with adjustments to our operations. The first decision is that beginning from Thursday, April 15, candidates would no longer be required to provide any email address during registration from this year onwards.

    It is by going to these cyber cafes to open emails that these candidates are open to abuse and stealing of their personal data,’’ he said.

    He said that the board now had a mobile app that would allow candidates to deal directly with the board with their smartphones or via SMS to ‘55019’ code option.

    Sigma Pensions

    The code option, he explained, would allow candidates to check admission status as well as all other verifications via SMS.

    He said, “Printing of examination slips, results notification or raising tickets can be done anywhere by using candidates’ registration number only. However, at the close of registration every year, we would need the email addresses of the candidates so we can have access to as many of them as possible.

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    At the conclusion of registration, candidates are expected to send their email addresses through the mobile app or text message to the 55019 code twice, for validation. This is to update their profile with JAMB as the email will no longer be used as access to their profile, but rather as a communication tool with candidates.’

    While advising candidates to guard their phones with utmost care as it was the weapon for all transactions, Oloyede said that henceforth, all JAMB owned Computer-Based Tests (CBT) centres across the country, would only allow candidates with ATM cards into its centres.

    He said that in order to cut down on the activities of fraudsters who hijack candidates to extort money from them, the centres would no longer allow candidates go outside the centres to pay for their e-pins and other cash transactions.

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    The JAMB Registrar said, “Only candidates with ATM cards will be allowed into all JAMB owned CBT centres, it can be that of their parents as long as they have the pin for the transaction.

    “Those without ATM cards can go to other privately owned CBT centres where they can pay cash to register but we will not take cash or transact outside our centres.’’

    What you should know

    Meanwhile, in a related development, JAMB had said that the board lost over N10 million in 2020 to activities of fraudsters who penetrated their payment portal for ad-hoc staff.

    The JAMB Registrar said that the money, which was meant to pay JAMB ad-hoc staff from the 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), was hijacked by the suspected fraudsters.

    JAMB had a few days ago confirmed the commencement of registration for the 2021 UTME/DE examinations after the initial hiccup.

    It stated that applicants must provide NIN at the point of registration with the registration by Direct Entry candidates to run concurrently with that of UTME candidates.

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