Agencies end rift
Both the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) have amicably resolved their lingering rift over stamp duty collection, with the Service ceding right to supply adhesive stamp to the postal agency.
Resolution of the imbroglio between the two government agencies was made possible by the signing of the Finance Act into law by President Muhammadu Buhari. FIRS Executive Chairman, Mr. Muhammad Nami, confirmed the settlement between the two agencies in Abuja, yesterday.
“The Finance Act 2020 has been passed and signed into law by Mr. President as an Act. On Tuesday, we received the gazetted copy; now we can call it a legal document. The controversy surrounding FIRS and NIPOST on stamp duty has now been resolved. “The first thing I want to clarify is; there is no more stamp duty on banking transactions. What we have now is electronic money transfer levy.
So, with that, I think the problem between FIRS and NIPOST has now been solved. “The second thing is that the National Assembly has deemed it very necessary to allow NIPOST to remain in business.
That means when we exhaust the adhesive stamp that we have created, which is in the region of 200 million copies, the moment we exhaust it; when next we are to buy or need the adhesive stamp, we shall approach NIPOST in order to allow them remain in business.
“So, I want to confirm to Nigerians that with the passage of the Finance Act 2020 into law, signed and gazetted, the issues between FIRS and NIPOST have finally been buried,” Nami confirmed during a chat with reporters in Abuja.
He said the Service will leverage on IT to deepen its tax collection in 2021. “Everything will centre around technology and innovations in ensuring that we ease tax compliance and at the same time ease tax payment and improve on revenue accruable to government. For us to be able to do that, this is about the initiatives we are trying to do to ensure we have improved performance for the year,” he said.
Meanwhile, the bulk of the N4.5 trillion revenue realised by FIRS in 2020 came from the non-oil sector. FIRS Coordinating Director (tax operations group), Mr. Olufemi Oluwaniyi, said that revenue from non-oil sector largely accounted for the N4.5 trillion revenue realised in 2020.
“Non-oil sector actually bailed us out. Oil sector terribly disappointed for very obvious reasons. Though we had one or two players within that sector that did not too badly. In terms of collection of arrears, we were still not where we should be in terms of collection from oil sector. Again, because of the excellent relationship skills pioneered by the chairman, we were able to recover much of those arrears from debtors. “Going to the non-oil from their current operation and in terms of delivery, the banks did very well. Many of them actually came to bail us out. We also have the telecoms sectors. Without going into the details of their names, they helped out to a large extent and they delivered.
Then, we also have very good delivery from agencies of government, for instance, the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) and their quantum of contribution in the year was very fantastic. “Like I said earlier, they also came on board when we cried out for advance payment before the economy opened up again,” he said. FIRS said it had simplified tax procedures across all segments for businesses to file tax return with ease.