FIRS, NIPOST at warpath over stamp duty collection

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There is an entanglement between Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST) and the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) over jurisdiction in respect of stamp duty collection.

While the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has insisted that the collection of stamp duty is their prerogative, the Nigerian Postal Service has accused the tax agency of stealing the mandate from them.

The Director Communication and Liaison FIRS, Abdullahi Ismaila Ahmad, in a statement vowed the FIRS is determined to ensure all monies collected by NIPOST into its alleged illegally operated Stamp Duties Account are fully remitted into the Federation Account.

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He also said but FIRS would make sure that any kobo not accounted for in that account is legally recovered.

“To be sure, 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,” FIRS spokesman Abdullahi Ismaila Ahmad said in a statement.

“On the other hand, the FIRS is the sole agency of got charged with the responsibility of *assessing, collecting, and accounting for all tax types including Stamp Duties.”

The Chairman of the Nigeria Postal Service, Maimuna Abubakar, had in a series of tweets on Sunday accused the FIRS, which is the agency responsible for assessing, collecting and accounting for tax accruing to the Federal Government, had begun printing stamps thereby usurping the NIPOST primary duty.

Abubakar tweeted: “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.”

“NIPOST are the sole custodians of national stamps, another agency printing and selling stamps is against the law of the land,” Abubakar said in a tweet on Sunday.

“FIRS did not only steal our stamps but also our ideas, what NIPOST had worked for since 2016, our documents, patent and sneaked everything into finance bill and tactically removed the name of NIPOST.”

She insisted that “NIPOST is the only agency charged with the responsibility of producing adhesive stamps and revenue for the purchase of such stamp accrues to NIPOST.”

The NIPOST board chairman said “There is nowhere in FIRS act or stamp duty act where it’s so stated that FIRS can produce stamp or sale stamp.”

But FIRS spokesman Ahmad said Abubakar’s claim “is clearly contrary to the administration of stamp duties in Nigeria.”

Ahmad described NIPOST’s position on stamp duty collection as a preposterous claim and great disservice to the government and people of Nigeria.

He 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.”