NIPOST, FIRS in Twitter war over Stamp duty

The Nigerian Postal Services (NIPOST) and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) are locked in a Twitter war.

The exchange of words followed a disagreement over which agency should implement the Stamp Duty Act.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and some civil society organisations have opposed the policy.

On Sunday, NIPOST Chairman, Maimuna Abubakar, stated that the FIRS was usurping her agency’s mandate.

It expressed worry over the ”takeover” of NIPOST’s mandate by FIRS.

Abubakar disclosed that she was having sleepless nights because of the matter.

“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 back”, she tweeted.

The chairman insisted that NIPOST are the sole custodians of national stamps, noting that another agency printing and selling stamps is against the law of the land.

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“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 the finance bill and tactically removed the name of NIPOST.”

She stressed that NIPOST is the only agency charged with the responsibility of producing adhesive stamps and that revenue from the purchase accrues to the agency.

“There is nowhere in FIRS Act or Stamp Duty Act where it’s so stated that the agency can produce stamp or sell stamp. Did you know that NIPOST had generated over N60b in the NIPOST CBN account for the Federal Government?”, Abubakar quipped.

Replying on Tuesday, FIRS described the tweets as “vexed”.

Abdullahi Ahmad, Director of Communication, in a statement posted on Twitter, said it was unfortunate that Abubakar could not differentiate between Stamp Duty and Postage Stamp.

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Ahmad noted that, “Her indecorous tweet would not have deserved any response but for the sensitive nature of the issue at stake, which if not sensibly treated and promptly corrected would likely mislead the public.”

He explained that Nigeria post office is a government parastatal established by Decree 41 of 1992 with the function to develop, promote, and provide adequate and efficiently co-ordinated postal services at reasonable rates”.

Noting that the function is contrary to the NIPOST claim, the spokesman to FIRS told the public that the agency is the sole agency charged with the responsibility of assessing, collecting, and accounting for all tax types including stamp duties.

Ahmad said it was shocking “that such a privileged young lady who happened to be appointed to a high office would throw all caution to the air to cast aspersions on reputable public institutions like the National Assembly and FIRS, which she accused of stealing Nigeria post office idea.”

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FIRS expressed determination to not only ensure that “all monies collected by NIPOST into its illegally operated Stamp Duties Account are fully remitted into the Federation Account but also make sure that any kobo be accounted for.”

The statement vowed that anyone found culpable of misappropriating the funds in the said illegal NIPOST Stamp Duties Account would be made to face the law.

FIRS reminded Nigerians that the agency was resolute in its resolve to safeguard national interests and not personal ego or interest.


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