The House of Representatives has expressed deep concern over the huge loss of revenue by the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST), running to billions of naira ought to have been collected on stamp duties between 2004 and 2015 respectively
Consequently, the House Committee on Public Accounts Chaired by Hon Wole Oke has queried the management of the agency under the Postmaster-General of the Federation, Mr Bisi Adebuyi over the huge loss, describing it as unacceptable.
Addressing the management of the agency who appeared before the Committee in Abuja, the Chairman of the Committee summoned the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and several commercial banks to appear before it on Thursday over the development.
The Postmaster-General of the Federation, Mr Adegbuyi had informed the Committee that NIPOST collected about N43,364,000 as stamp duties from February 2016 to November 9, 2019, which he said was domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Agbebuyi confirmed to the Committee that no revenue was collected by the agency on stamp duties between 2004 and 2015 respectively.
While responding to the Chairman’s question on what happened to the revenues of the previous years, the Postmaster-General said: “To the best of my knowledge, Mr chairman, there was no collection”.
The Director of Finance and Investment, NIPOST, Sha’aba Usman, however, explained that it was only in 2016 that the service started collecting stamp duties through commercial banks.
Mallam Usman recalled that before then, people used to buy stamps to affix to their documents while the money realised from the stamp sales were recorded as part of NIPOST’ Internally Generated Revenue.
Not satisfied with the defence of the officials, Hon Oke said: “What happened to the collection between 2004 to 2015? Are you saying that you don’t have the record or no collection made by any agency on behalf of the government?”
The lawmaker pointed out that NIPOST was empowered by the law to collect stamp duties, stating that Adegbuyi’s claim that there was no collection between 2004 to 2015 was unacceptable to the panel.
He vowed that the Committee would use all instruments of the law to recover the lost revenues to the covers of the Federal government.
The Committee consequently, invited all the banks collecting stamp duties on behalf of NIPOST to appear before it along with the CBN this Thursday unfailingly failure which the House would issue bench warrant of arrest against individuals or cooperate bodies involved in the matter.