The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) generates N3 billion every week through stamp duty collection, Muhammad Nami, the fiscal authority head, said on Tuesday.
Nami, who spoke while appearing before the House of Representatives Committee on Finance to resolve the conflict between the FIRS and the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) over stamp duty collection, stated that the revenue had been generated weekly from May to date from Deposit Money Banks (DMBs).
He noted that the FIRS was able to generate the amount of revenue from a single stream of stamp duty collection from DMBs because the agency had introduced a new technology to monitor and capture such revenue directly into the federation account.
According to him, the Application Programming Interface (API) technology solution, which is an online real-time technology designed to make collection of stamp duties easier.
The FIRS, he said, had realised over N30 billion in the NIPOST stamp duty account with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), adding that the account was opened in 2016 to warehouse revenue from stamp collection.
The balance in the account as of April had risen to N58 billion due to the deployment of the API by the FIR, Nami said, adding that the money in the stamp duty account by May was transferred to the federation account on instructions FIRS gave the CBN.
The development has caused a conflict between the FIRS and NIPOST over who handles stamp duty collection and the money accruing from the collection.
He lamented that the differences over the control of stamp duty collection between the FIRS and NIPOST had degenerated to a public wrangle, describing the issue as ‘unnecessary and unhelpful.’
‘The FIRS regrets that as agency of the government, FIRS and NIPOST allow a simple situation to degenerate to media exposure,’ Mr Nami said in a statement released by the agency.
Meanwhile, Ismail Adewusi, the Postmaster General/Chief Executive Officer of NIPOST, said the conflict between the two agencies was needless.
‘As prelude, it’s important to make this remark. NIPOST is not a tax collecting agency. We are not in the business of collecting taxes, that’s not our mandate. But our role in stamp duty is clearly stated in the law.
‘The issue is, the Finance Act, 2019 did not in any way stop NIPOST from its mandate. In spite of amendment to Finance Act, it has not affected the responsibility of NIPOST. There is no fight between NIPOST and FIRS over tax collection.’
He stated that the onus of procuring stamps rests with NIPOST but appealed that the agency is entitled to its share of the stamp duty proceeds it collected and domiciled in the CBN from 2016 to 2020.
‘All the monies that accrued to the account include proceeds of stamp sales. In the spirit of peace, we want FIRS to look at the issue.
‘We deserve in sharing cost of collection. At the initial meeting, FIRS said they will give us 30 per cent and take 70 per cent, we said no,’ he said.
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