The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has affirmed that the Nigerian Postal Services (NIPOST) was collecting stamp duties wrongfully. The claim was made by the revenue services’ Director of Communication and Liaison, Abdullahi Ahmad, in a press explanation to respond to NIPOST’s board chairman, Maimuna Abubakar, prior Twitter posts.
The NIPOST chairman had on Sunday allegedly claimed the FIRS took NIPOST’s mandate by accepting payments for stamp duties in Nigeria.
FIRS, in a response to the claim, released a statement titled: ‘That vexed NIPOST tweet by Maimuna Abubakar’, said it is the sole agency saddled with the responsibility of stamp duty collection, assessing and properly accounting for all types of taxes.
According to the announcement by FIRS, “Our attention was drawn to the tweet by Mrs Abubakar. Her indecorous tweet would not have deserved any response but for the sensitive nature of the issue at stake, which if not sensibly treated and promptly corrected would likely mislead the public.
“To be sure, NIPOST is a government parastatal established by Decree 41 of 1992 with the function to develop, promote, and provide adequate and efficiently co-ordinate postal services at reasonable rates. This function is clearly contrary to the claim by NIPOST over the administration of stamp duties in Nigeria.
“It is therefore shocking to us that such a privileged young lady who happened to be appointed to high office would throw all caution to the air to cast aspersions on reputable public institutions like the National Assembly and FIRS, which she accused of stealing NIPOST idea. This, to say the least, is a preposterous claim and great disservice to the government and people of Nigeria.
“We wish to state categorically that, as an agency that operates within the ambit of the law, the FIRS is determined to not only ensure that all monies collected by NIPOST into its illegally operated Stamp Duties Account are fully remitted into the Federation Account but also make sure that any kobo not accounted for in that account is legally recovered in line with the charge of President Muhammadu Buhari to the recently inaugurated Inter-ministerial committee on the recovery of stamp duties from 2016 till date.
“In addition, anyone found culpable of misappropriating the funds in the said illegal NIPOST Stamp Duties Account would be made to face the law as provisioned by the country’s statute books.
“The public is hereby reminded that we at the FIRS are resolute in our resolve to safeguard national interests and not any personal ego or interest as NIPOST officials appear to carry on lately.
“We, therefore, call on right-thinking Nigerians to disregard that ill-advised tweet by Mrs Maimuna Abubakar and allied misinformation being disseminated by NIPOST in relation to Stamp Duties collection, which by law is the responsibility of the FIRS.”