*Senate President commends FIRS for the impressive revenue collection
At the inauguration of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Audit and Recovery of Back Years Stamp Duties and the Launch of the FIRS Adhesive Stamp in Abuja on Tuesday, it emerged that Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) remitted a N66 billion into the Federation account within the first five months of 2020.
Also speaking, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari said there was “assurance that the collection from stamp duty will be second to oil revenue, as it has the potential to yield up to a trillion naira if properly harnessed.”
President Buhari has at the event directed that all institutions of government and related stakeholders should support the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Audit and Recovery of Back Years Stamp Duties to enable it to succeed on its assignment.
“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.”
In order 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 appropriate stamp duty account maintained by FGN with the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Executive Chairman of FIRS, Muhammad Nami said at the event that the N66 billion realized was much higher than the N6 billion naira collected from January to May 2019.
Nami attributed this 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 the administration of Stamp Duties; and reduce disputes.”
He attributed the significant leap of stamp duty to “the dynamism triggered by Finance Act 2019, sums warehoused by the CBN in respect of prior years, deployment of technology and stakeholders collaboration.”
Stamp Duty chargeable transactions include: Power of Attorney (PoA), Deed of Assignment, Certificates of Occupancy (C of O), Sales Agreement, Proxy forms, Appointment of Receiver, Legal Mortgage or Debentures’ Tenancy or Lease Agreements, Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), Insurance Policies, Joint Venture Agreements (JVA), Contract Agreements, Guarantor’s form, Vending Agreement, Ordinary Agreements Receipts, Promissory Notes, Charter-Party and Contract Notes
Mr. Nami also indicated that the “collection performance of Stamp Duties hitherto witnessed is a tip of the iceberg compared to its potentials.”
He noted that the amendment and effective implementation of the Stamp Duty Act, simplified administrative processes plus the audit and recovery exercise will raise the bar significantly.
He, however, noted that the dependence on postage stamps for denoting Stamp Duties is one of the factors accounting for low collection performance in the past.
He thus noted that 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 said the FIRS is prepared to reposition Stamp Duties as the next major revenue source for Nigeria.
Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, who launched the adhesive stamp officially, said that FIRS deserved commendation for its impressive revenue collection, and promised that the National Assembly would continue to acknowledge, encourage, and support the initiatives and efforts of revenue-generating agencies of government.
His words: “The Senate and the National Assembly will continue to provide the necessary legislative backings and oversight functions that will help maximise the revenue of the government and ensure that government is better positioned to deliver its mandate.