The Federal Government has commenced moves to recover unremitted revenues accrued to it through the Stamp Duty Tax in the last six years.
This was made known on Tuesday in Abuja at the inauguration of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Audit and Recovery of Back Years Stamp Duties and the lunch of the FIRS Adhesive Stamp.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari, hinted that collection from stamp duty will be second to oil revenue, as it had the potential to yield up to One Trillion Naira if properly harnessed.
He announced that the President had directed all institutions of government and related stakeholders to support the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Audit and Recovery of Back Years Stamp Duties.
Mustapha noted that in the face of dwindling oil revenue, and the global shift from oil dependent technological products, it had become compelling to think out of the box in order to safeguard the future of Nigeria.
“Therefore, this administration has resolved to widen the revenue base by activating stamp duties revenue collection which has been neglected for more than 20 years.
“I hereby also direct and request that all relevant MDAs, particularly the Central Bank of Nigeria, NIBBS, MDBs, FIRS, NIPOST should give maximum cooperation to the Committee in the discharge of its mandate.”
To ensure transparency and accountability in the recovery of back-year stamp duty, the President further directed that all recoveries made by the Committee be remitted to federal government’s stamp duty account with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
FIRS Chairman, Muhammad Nami, disclosed that the agency had grown revenues from stamp duties by over 1,000 percent, totaling N66billion in the first five months of 2020 alone, compared with N6 billion collected from January to May 2019.
Nami attributed the increase to the dynamism triggered by Finance Act 2019, sums warehoused by the CBN in respect of prior years, and the deployment of technology and stakeholders’ collaboration.
“The introduction of the FIRS Stamp Duties Adhesive Stamp will, among other things, plug the revenue sink-hole; enable proper accountability and transparency; simplify administration of Stamp Duties; and reduce disputes”, he explained.
Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, who launched the adhesive stamp officially, said FIRS deserved commendation for its impressive revenue collection.
“The Senate and the National Assembly will continue to provide the necessary legislative backings and oversight functions that will help maximise the revenue of government and ensure that government is better positioned to deliver its mandate”, Lawan added.
Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, Femi Gbjabiamila, acknowledged the close collaboration that exists between the FIRS and the House.
He assured Nami of legislative interventions to help the FIRS deliver its mandate successfully.
Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, highlighted the importance of Stamp Duty as a tax type that opens untapped revenue sources for increased revenue collection.
Ahmed reiterated the role of the adhesive stamps in enhancing voluntary compliance by taxpayers.
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