Abuja The Federal Government has vowed to recover Stamp Duty owed by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and Money Deposit Banks (DMBs).
This is as the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) confirmed remittance of N66 billion Stamp Duty into federation purse between January and May 2020. The figure was higher than 2019 figure of N18 billion. FIRS Chairman, Mohammed Nami, confirmed the figure yesterday in Abuja at the inauguration of Inter-Ministerial committee to recover outstanding tax liabilities collected between January 2016 and May this year officiated by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha.
Underscoring seriousness government attaches to recovering Stamp Duty arrears, Nami directed account and finance director at FIRS to ensure N39 billion pending in FIRS gets remitted unfailingly today into Central Bank account.
“Charity must be seen to begin at home,” he said. Giving a breakdown of the N66 billion, Nami said N20 billion was remitted by banks, while N39 billion was the amount to be warehoused to CBN and remitted to the federation account. He said that N7.9 billion represents Stamp Duties revenue from stamping of various instruments. He attributed the rise in stamp duty collection to the dynamism triggered by the Finance Act of 2019.
According to Nami, FIRS is prepared to reposition Stamp Duties as the next major revenue source for Nigeria.
He said as revenue from oil and gas continues to dwindle due to global fall on demand and price, indirect taxes such as Stamp Duty remain the viable and sustainable alternative revenue source for funding budgetary requirements.
In his opening remark while inaugurating the committee, Mustapha charged committee members to ensure that they recover all Stamp Duties collected on behalf of the Federal Government, but yet to be remitted by government agencies, banks and other companies.
He said the need to recover the Stamp Duty became imperative due to the dwindling revenue of government which was caused by the negative impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The SGF said the impact of the pandemic had led to a budget deficit of over N5 trillion. The Senate President, Dr. Amhad Lawal, in his comments, said the National Assembly would continue to encourage and support the initiatives and efforts of revenue generating agencies to improve their revenue collections, especially in these trying times.
The event was attended by Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami; Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed and Chairman, Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, Engr. Elias Mbam, among others.