FIRS, NIPOST battle over stamp duties charge
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has denied depriving the Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST), of discharging its duties. This was disclosed in a statement signed by the agency’s spokesperson, Abdullahi Ahmad, on Tuesday.
The chairman of the NIPOST, Maimuna Abubakar, in a series of tweets, accused the FIRS of stealing the mandate of NIPOST.
She said the FIRS, responsible for assessing, collecting and accounting for tax accruing to the Federal Government, had begun printing stamps.
Ms Abubakar called on Nigerians to ensure that NIPOST gets justice.
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.
It is also saddled with the responsibility of printing and providing postage stamps for payment of postage tariff and payment of stamp duties by the decree No. 18 of 1987.
FIRS is the agency responsible for assessing, collecting and accounting for tax and other revenues accruing to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
In its response Tuesday, the FIRS said the power to collect stamp duties resides with it and not NIPOST.
“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,” the statement said.
“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.”
The statement said the function is clearly contrary to the claim by NIPOST over the administration of stamp duties in Nigeria.
Also, it said that 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.”
The statement warned that 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 Maimuna Abubakar and allied misinformation being disseminated by NIPOST in relation to Stamp Duties collection, which by law is the responsibility of the FIRS.”