‘Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’ Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST) on Sunday denied operating an illegal stamp duty account.
It said only the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) operates the Treasury Single Account (TSA) opened for stamp duty.
The agency described as an act of misinformation the allegation by the Director of Communications and Liaison of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Dr. Abdullahi Ismaila, that NIPOST operates such account.
A statement by NIPOST’s General Manager for Corporate Communications, Mr. Franlin Alao, said the account being operated for stamp duties was done in consultation with the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation.
“We hereby state categorically that the statement is false and was made to misinform and mislead members of the public,” the statement said.
It added: “The account the Director of Communication, FIRS, made reference to as ‘illegal’ was opened by the CBN under the TSA in consultation with the office of Accountant General of the Federation, in the name of NIPOST Stamp Duty Collection Account when CBN gave instruction to Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) to commence the deduction of N50 stamp duty from bank customers’ accounts.
“The account belongs to the Federation, and NIPOST does not have access to whatsoever money lodged into the account. As such, the question of illegality and misappropriation does not arise.
“NIPOST wishes to restate that under the extant laws of Nigeria, to wit: NIPOST Act 2004 provides and vests 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 Tweeter to call out the Chairman of NIPOST’s Board, 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.”