The ongoing war between Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST) and the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) over which agency is the rightful custodian of stamp duty collection in Nigeria worsened on Tuesday.
KanyiDaily recalls that the Chairman of the NIPOST, Maimuna Abubakar, in a series of tweets on Sunday, had lamented that FIRS has stolen the mandate of her agency.
The NIPOST chairman expressed worry over the ”take over” by FIRS, insisting that NIPOST is empowered to print, mint, produce, retail, and provide adhesive postage stamps.
Mrs Abubakar alleged that FIRS did not only steal NIPOST’s stamps but also its ideas. She asked the general public to intervene in the contention between both agencies.
However, FIRS in a series of tweets on Tuesday, countered NIPOST allegations and insisted that it is the sole responsibility of the agency (FIRS) to collect all forms of stamp duties on behalf of the government.
The Director Communication and Liaison FIRS, Abdullahi Ismaila Ahmad said there is a difference between stamp duty and postage stamp.
He added that, “FIRS is the sole agency of got charged with the responsibility of assessing, collecting, and accounting for all tax types including Stamp Duties”.
Ahmad vowed that the FIRS is determined to ensure all monies collected by NIPOST into its alleged illegally operated Stamp Duties Account are fully remitted into the Federation Account.
He also said but FIRS would make sure that any kobo not accounted for in that account is legally recovered. The statement reads: “THAT VEXED NIPOST TWEET BY MRS. MAIMUNA ABUBAKAR.
“We appreciate the general public for demonstrating deep knowledge of the difference between Stamp Duty and Postage Stamp. It is unfortunate that Mrs. Maimuna Abubakar, Chairperson of the NIPOST Board is yet to understand this.”
“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 coordinated postal services at reasonable rates.
“This function is clearly contrary to the claim by NIPOST over the administration of stamp duties in Nigeria.
“On the other hand, the FIRS is the sole agency of government charged with the responsibility of assessing, collecting, and accounting for all tax types including Stamp Duties.
“It is therefore shocking to us at the FIRS 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 the 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 which operates within the armbit 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.”
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.
— FIRS Nigeria (@firsNigeria) August 4, 2020
This is coming just one week after NIPOST imposed new costs of licence for logistics and courier services, sparking outrage from Nigerians online.
Last week, FIRS had also directed landlords and property owners and agents to ensure that they charge 6% stamp duty on all tenant in Nigeria.