We won’t cede collection of stamp duty to FIRS ― Minister

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami said the Ministry would continue to insist that the collection of stamp duty be domiciled in the Nigerian Postal Service  (NIPOST).

Pantami who was reacting to questions from Journalists during a media parley in Abuja said it would be unfair to take away the duty of stamp duty collection from the NIPOST to the Federal Inland Revenue Service  (FIRS).

Recall that the staff of NIPOST had recently protested against the plans to remove the power to collect stamp duty from NIPOST to FIRS.

The Minister said he had already written President Muhammadu Buhari, the Minister of Finance and the President of the Senate on the issue.

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He said as customs collect customs duty, then the job of collecting stamp duty should be left for NIPOST.

“To me, stamp duty should be collected by NIPOST because the way customs collect customs duty, then stamp duty should be collected by NIPOST. I believe FIRS has been working to be the one collecting stamp duty.

“The crisis started before I was appointed, and I was not briefed on time by the board and management of NIPOST of the real situation until it was deteriorated.

‘But when I heard of it, I intervened immediately, I presented the case to the President that as far as am concerned stamp duty should be collected by NIPOST, there is no harm for FIRS to support them or work harmoniously, but stamp duty should not be for Ministry of Finance, there is no justification”.

He said when FIRS was told to invite stakeholders to deliberate on whom to collect stamp duty, the Ministry of Communication and NIPOST were not invited, hence the invited stakeholders endorsed FIRS to collect stamp duty.

“It is only sometimes when you have the privilege of working on a document you are trying to amend to protect your interest, this was what happened. It was done by FIRS, they were told to invite stakeholders on whom will collect stamp duty, without involving the Ministry of Communication, without involving NIPOST, they invited few stakeholders that will support their interest, they endorsed it and said FIRS should collect it.

So we objected to It, I personally wrote a letter to the President on that, I wrote to the Minister of Finance that this will not be tolerated, I also wrote a letter to the President of the Senate on that issue.

We have no power to change, but we have the power to challenge injustice, as far as am concerned, this is one of the many injustices that can be challenged, and I will continue to challenge it. So, it is a selfish interest trying to deny NIPOST of that one.

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