The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) issued a directive on Tuesday, stopping the current N50 charge on every transaction executed through Point of Sales (POS) terminals.
The statement, made available to journalists in Abuja, was signed by the FCCPC’s chief, Babatunde Irukera.
He said the POS charge was counterproductive for the Central Bank of Nigeria’s cashless economy drive, further stating that merchants’ implementation of this policy had been burdensome for consumers.
The CBN Director of Payment System Management, Musa Jimoh, had during an interview on Channels Television Business Morning programme of 23rd December 2019 said that nobody should pay N50 in addition to cost of goods, saying payment of the N50 stamp duty is the responsibility of merchants.
Declaring the CBN’s stance, Jimoh noted that “What we told the merchants is that we would like the banks to ensure that the merchants comply with this directive by ensuring that every single payment that customers make to them, the merchants pay the regulated stamp duty of N50.
“What has happened is that they have actually transferred this fee blatantly and openly to the consumers; this is very wrong. No single individual should pay N50 in addition to the cost of the goods.
“Stamp duty is not to be paid by individuals that are consuming the goods and services of the merchants, the merchants who are receiving the money are the ones who are supposed to pay.
“Stamp duty is not a CBN regulated fee, it is a fee regulated by an act, and so we can’t change or push anything in that direction.”
Irukera asserted that FCCPC vigorously consulted the CBN before arriving at the decision, pursuant to Section 17 subsections (b), (f), (g) and (i) of the FCCPA Act.
He confirmed that the echelons of the CBN and the FCCPC were engaged on the matter.
The FCCP boss stated that the FCCPC believed that the assessment imposed on merchants was part of their costs of doing business and that this might only be passed to consumer in limited circumstances.
In his words: “Businesses, by their very nature, already capture the operating cost price of their goods and services.
“To impose an additional fee on consumers that is exclusive of price and discriminates based on the selected mode of payment essentially amounts to a penalty for the adopted mode of payment.
Read also: Neimeth’s 2019 profit up by 48.7%
“The problems associated with carrying excessive cash in order to avoid a penalty are myriad and multifaceted.
“Accordingly, the commission welcomes the CBN’s definitive statement on December 23rd, 2019, clarifying its September 17, 2019 directive by Circular Ref. PSM/Dir/CON/02/015 that the directive did not intend to pass such fees to consumers.”
Irukera also affirmed that going by the consultation with the CBN, it was “inappropriate and illegal for businesses to pass a stamp duty cost of doing their business to consumers.”
“Effectively, and in furtherance of this clarification, merchants are now prohibited from penalising or otherwise assessing any duty, costs or assessment characterised as ‘stamp duty’ on consumers who select point of sale options to conclude their purchases or transactions.”
He added that the directive was informed by Section 18 (2) of the FCCPC Act, which prohibits such an assessment.
He gave the assurance that the FCCPC alongside the CBN, other regulators and law enforcement authorities would implement the law to its fullest.
The FCCPC chief urged consumers to report any violation as soon as they occurred with evidence of such deductions.
Join the conversation
Support Ripples Nigeria, hold up solutions journalism
Balanced, fearless journalism driven by data comes at huge financial costs.
As a media platform, we hold leadership accountable and will not trade the right to press freedom and free speech for a piece of cake.
If you like what we do, and are ready to uphold solutions journalism, kindly donate to the Ripples Nigeria cause.
Your support would help to ensure that citizens and institutions continue to have free access to credible and reliable information for societal development.
INVESTIGATION: How roadside foods endanger consumers’ life with trans fat in northern Nigeria
With an estimated 854,000 deaths in Nigeria, and 3,229 attributed to trans fatty acids (TFA) -related cardiovascular deaths, ADESOLA IKULAJOLU visited Nigeria’s...
INVESTIGATION: Untold story of Ondo oil producing communities battling poor health system
Access to quality healthcare is one of the nightmares of communities in Ilaje local government area of Ondo State. Despite...
FEATURE: Ogun residents, waste collectors trade blames, as refuse litter environment
TIJANI ABDULKABEER, a journalist from the University of Ibadan, during a recent trip to Sango Otta, Ogun State took a look...
INVESTIGATION: How online fraudsters siphon victims’ funds through ‘SportyBet’ platform
As Nigeria transits into a cashless society, the evolution also creates opportunities for internet scammers to take advantage of unsuspecting...
SPECIAL REPORT: Enugu govt watches as waste takes over state, threatens public health, environment
In this report, Arinze Chijioke looks at how delays in evacuation of waste in Enugu State encourages indiscriminate waste disposal, its health implications, and how...