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NIPOST, FIRS row over stamp duty collection

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By Alao Abiodun

The ongoing imbroglio between Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST) and the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) over the jurisdiction of the two in stamp duty collection took another dimension on Tuesday.

In a statement, the Director Communication and Liaison, FIRS,  Abdullahi  Ahmad, said the agency is determined to not only ensure that all money collected by NIPOST into its illegally operated Stamp Duties Account are remitted into the Federation Account but also make sure that any kobo not accounted for in that account is legally recovered.

It would be recalled that the Chairman of NIPOST, Maimuna Abubakar, in tweets at the weekend, lamented that the FIRS has stolen the mandate of NIPOST.

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The NIPOST chairman said the FIRS, which is the agency responsible for assessing, collecting and accounting for tax accruing to the Federal Government, had begun printing stamps. She alleged that FIRS did not only steal NIPOST’s stamps but also its ideas.

Abubakar tweeted: “I am worried for NIPOST, having sleepless nights because of NIPOST. We need the general public to come to our aid; 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. NIPOST is the sole custodian of national stamps; another agency printing and selling stamps is against the law of the land.”

FIRS in tweets on Tuesday countered NIPOST and faulted the claims of Abubakar. It said: “To be sure, NIPOST is a government parastatal established by Decree 41 of 1992 with the function to develop, promote, and provide adequate and efficiently coordinated postal services at reasonable rates.

“This function is clearly contrary to the claim by NIPOST over the administration of stamp duties in Nigeria.  On the other hand, the FIRS is the sole agency charged with the responsibility of assessing, collecting, and accounting for all tax types including Stamp Duties.”

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