The House of Representatives on Thursday resolved to investigate the Nigerian Postal Services (NIPOST), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and commercial banks over allegation of unremitted stamp duty taxes to the Treasury Single Account (TSA).
The resolution was reached following the consideration and adoption of a motion under matters of urgent public importance brought by Hon Goni Bukar Lawan (APC, Yobe), wherein he prayed the House to look into issues of revenue losses to the consolidated revenue account arising from unremitted stamp duties.
The lawmaker in his presentation said stamp duties are statutory taxes levied on legal instruments including cheques, receipts, military commissions, licenses and land transaction documents.
“A few years ago, however, banks were mandated to collect stamp duties from account holders.
“While the deductible amount per bank account seems small, it cumulatively adds up to money in billions and trillions of naira and must be subjected to the full disclosure and transparency.
“The complicit irregularities by which public institutions including the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), Nigeria Postal Services (NIPOST), among others, have overtime failed to remit stamp duty taxes into the consolidated revenue account running into trillions.
“NIPOST entered into an agreement in 2014 to collect stamp duties and armed with the masters service agreement with NIPOST, the School Banking Honours (SBH) approached the Central Bank of Nigeria for authorization to engage Deposit Money Banks (DBMs) and other Stamp Duties collection agents and the CBN gave required approval,” the motion read.
It expressed further concerns that “all efforts to get details of remittances of funds realized from stamp duty taxes through the freedom of information Act were not successful by domestic and foreign civil society organizations”.
“These would have been used to pay salaries, provide infrastructure and financing economic development in the country or at least should have generated some interest in the privates where the fund is domiciled in the commercial banks.
“Due to the concern mounting over the non-remittance, it is clearly obvious disobedience to TSA policy for the stamp duties fund to be hidden in commercial banks instead of been remitted to the TSA account,” the motion argued.
The motion upon being passed, mandated the ad-hoc committee to submit its findings to the House within four weeks for further legislative action.