Franklin Alao, the general manager, corporate communications, has said that NIPOST stamp duty account was opened by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
NIPOST and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) have been at loggerheads over which agency should be in charge of stamp duty following the implementation of the Stamp Duty Act.
The FIRS, in a recently released circular, said it now has a portal for automated stamp duty collection where citizens, government agencies, institutions, and private organisations should log into and pay stamp duties.
But NIPOST opposed the FIRS, saying only the postal agency is empowered to print, mint, produce, retail, and provide adhesive postage stamps.
Abdullahi Ahmad, FIRS director of communication and liaison, “had described NIPOST’s stamp duty account as illegal”, adding that all monies collected by it must be remitted to the federal government
Responding through a statement issued on Sunday, Franklin Alao, the general manager, corporate communications, NIPOST, said the account termed “illegal” was opened by CBN.
He also stated that the agency does not have access to monies deposited in the account.
“The account the director of communication of 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,” he said.
“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.
“NIPOST wishes to reinstate that under the extant laws of Nigeria to wit NIPOST Act 2004 provides and vests solely in NIPOST the power to print adhesive postage stamps, which is the instrument for denoting documents and other transaction instruments in compliance with the provisions of the Stamp Duties Act.
“Historically, the post in Nigeria, just like in the comity of nations, has at different times produced adhesive postage stamps and revenue stamps for the federal government. It is to this end that NIPOST seeks the proper implementation of the Finance Act.
“NIPOST is therefore taken aback when FIRS took to Twitter to call out the chairman, NIPOST board, barrister Maimuna Yaya Abubakar, who only tried to bring the attention of the service and public that NIPOST would be emasculated if the Act is not properly implemented.
“This is more so when there was a meeting between FIRS and NIPOST in July 2013 in the office of the executive chairman of FIRS and resolution reached that “NIPOST is statutory duty bound to provide the stamps to be used by FIRS at both federal and state levels”.
“We wish to reassure members of the public that NIPOST as a responsible government institution has always operated within the ambit of the law.”
He urged the general public to disregard the statement credited to the FIRS director on the issue.