Allege 20 trillion unremitted Stamp Duty revenue, Senate moves to investigate banks, other financial institutions

                                                                Sen. Akinyelure Patrick Ayo, (PDP) Ondo Central

By Raphael Ekpang

Rising from it Tuesday plenary session, the senate has mandated its committee on Finance to investigate the alleged over N20 trillion unremitted Stamp Duties  revenue due to the federal government of Nigeria from banks and other financial  institutions through Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System, NIBSS.

NIBSS a subsidiary of the CBN for 2013-2016 and financial accountability of stamp duty collections from 2016 when the CBN officially directed all banks to collect on behalf of the FG to date.

In a motion, “The need to improve Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the federal government of Nigeria significantly by over N5 trillion annually through non-oil revenue sources available at its disposal” sponsored by Sen. Akinyelure Patrick Ayo, (PDP) Ondo Central, and co-sponsored by 41 others, it has been observed that the FG has projected revenue of over N2.5trillion annually from payment of stamp duties from the financial service industries since 2016.

Consequently, the CBN  in January, 2016 issued a circular directing all banks and other financial institutions to charge stamp duty of #50  on lodgment into current accounts with value of #1,000 and above.

According to the motion, “The CBN cashless policy started from 6 pilot states in 2012, and this is expected to double to a minimum of #5 trillion annually since the policy was extended to 30 other states of the nation in 1st April, 2017.”

“Aware that with immediate effect after the issuance of the said circular by CBN, all deposit money banks and other financial institutions has commenced charging #50 per eligible transaction in accordance with the provisions of the Stamp Duties Act 2004 and Federal Government financial regulations 2009 that is, all receipts given by any bank or other financial institutions in acknowledgement of service rendered in respect of electronic transfer and other teller deposit from #1,000 and above.”

Sen. Ayo raised concerned over CBN and NIBSS inability to comply with the presidential directives for the recovery of over #20 trillion revenue into the  coffers of the government of Nigeria.

“My concern is that despite the FG action to appoint a consultant with ‘Patent Rights’ and vast knowledge of Stamp Duty due to Federal Government of Nigeria as Stamp Duty Recovery Consultant since 12th October, 2017 for recovery of over #20 trillion from inter-Bank Settlement Systems (NIBSS) to the federation account in line with Patent Rights of the Recovery Consultants-Messrs School of Banking Honours and International Investment Law and Arbitration LLC now in force, the CBN and NIBSS have technically refused to comply with presidential directives,” he said.

In the motion, Sen. Ayo expressed worried that since the introduction of the circular to all money deposit banks in 2016 for collection of the said stamp duties, cashless transaction ranging to billion monthly has been witnessed via the deduction from customers account has not been transparent and coupled with the fact that neither CBN nor its subsidiary NIBSS has presented any report to the public on their activities as regard the seduction of the #50 stamp duties.

Sen. Ayo insisted that it was exigent for the senate to be abreast with the facts henceforth in order to work for Nigerians and make a different in line with the legislative agenda of the 9th national assembly.

According to the motion however, “Encouraged that the house of representatives (legislature) in May 2019, and National Economic Council (Executive) earlier this year have waded into the stamp duties matters, and among other resolutions, recommended all agencies to support the Agent/Consultant in delivery of FG recovery mandate on the over #20 trillion stamp duty (based on NIBSS invitation of Agent/Consultant, and its ratification by Presidential Order), and to vanguard collections into the federation account via Stamp Duties Central Account.”

*Further encouraged that the Special Presidential Investigation Panel on Recovery of Public Property (SPIP) and Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Allocation (RMAFC) have both adopted the combined resolutions of house of representatives and Nationally Economic Council, and signed a contract in June 2919 to lead the agent/Consultant under a joint Task Force name for the Federal Government ordered recovery task.
The lawmaker urged the Senate to consider whether the target #20 trillion fund is being recycled into private banks ‘with impunity’ when the federal government had directed it recovery, noting that there was  a media report that CBN claimed its borrowing to banks will hit #23 trillion by the end of this year.

He further noted that proper accountability and prudent financial management of stamp duty revenue would result in additional #5trillion annually generated revenue which Will impart greatly on many Nigerians youth through massive job creation of over 500, 000 annually by the FG.

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