The Nigerian Postal Service, NIPOST, has debunked the claims by the Federal Inland Revenue Services, FIRS, that it operates an illegal stamp duty account even as it calls on the public to disregard such allegations.
General Manager, Corporate Communications of NIPOST, Franklin Alao in a statement described the allegations as false and a deliberate act of misinformation by the FIRS to mislead the public on its activities.
He explained that it is only the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, operates the Treasury Single Account opened for stamp duty.
Alao said, “The account being operated for stamp duty by the CBN was done in consultation with the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation.
“NIPOST wishes to reinstate that under the extant laws of Nigeria to wit NIPOST Act 2004 provides and vest solely in NIPOST the power to print adhesive postage stamps, which is the instrument for denoting documents and other transaction instruments in compliance with the provisions of the Stamp Duties Act.
“Historically, the Post in Nigeria, just like in the comity of nations, has at different times produced adhesive postage stamps and revenue stamps for the Federal Government. It is to this end that NIPOST seeks the proper implementation of the Finance Act.
“NIPOST is therefore taken aback when FIRS took to the twitter to call out the Chairman, NIPOST Board, Barrister Maimuna Yaya Abubakar, who only tried to bring the attention of the Service and public that NIPOST would be emasculated if the Act is not properly implemented.
“More so when there was a meeting between FIRS and NIPOST in July 2013 in the office of the Executive Chairman of FIRS and resolution reached that “NIPOST is statutory duty bound to provide the stamps to be used by FIRS at both federal and state levels.
“We wish to reassure members of the public that NIPOST as a responsible government institution has always operated within the ambit of the law.
“We therefore urge the general public to disregard the statement credited to the Director, Communication and Liaison, FIRS on the issue”.
Recall that last week there had been a long face off between NIPOST and the FIRS over who originally is saddled with the responsibility of printing and selling stamps in the country.
The disagreement took another turn when NIPOST Chairman Maimuna Abubakar accused FIRS of stealing NIPOST stamps and it’s ideas instead of sticking to its responsibility of assessing, collecting and accounting for tax accruing to the Federal Government, it had begun printing stamps.
“I am worried for NIPOST, having sleepless nights because of NIPOST. We need the general public to come to our aid; FIRS stole our mandate. FIRS are now selling stamps instead of buying from us. What is happening; are we expected to keep quiet and let FIRS kill and bury NIPOST?
“We need to get our mandate. NIPOST is the sole custodian of national stamps; another agency printing and selling stamps is against the law of the land”, she said.
In what seem like a war of words on twitter the FIRS reacting swiftly through series of tweets faulted the claims of NIPOST.
It said 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.
This function is clearly contrary to the claim by NIPOST over the administration of stamp duties in Nigeria. On the other hand, the FIRS is the sole agency charged with the responsibility of assessing, collecting, and accounting for all tax types including Stamp Duties, it added.