FIRS, NIPOST clashes over collection of stamp duties

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The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) on Tuesday disagreed with the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) over the administration of stamp duties in the country.

In a tweet signed by FIRS spokesman, Abdullahi Ahmad, the agency said it is solely responsible for “assessing, collecting and accounting for all tax types including Stamp Duties”.

On Monday, Chairman of the NIPOST Board, Maimuna Abubakar said the FIRS had no business with the collection of stamp duties.

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“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.

Both agencies have been at loggerheads about the collection of stamp duties, at least since 2019, but the issue took a more heated turn on Monday when Abubakar accused the FIRS of stealing NIPOST’s ideas.

“NIPOST are the sole custodians of national stamps, another agency printing and selling stamps is against the law of the land,” she said.

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

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In its response on Tuesday, FIRS described the theft accusation as “shocking” and “a preposterous claim and great disservice to the government and people of Nigeria.”

A photo combination created on August 4, 2020, depicting the Federal Inland Revenue Service and the Nigerian Postal Service. (Noble Reporters Media / Adigun Michael Olamide)

On December 19, NIPOST staff had staged a protest in Abuja over the planned takeover of the stamp duties collection by the FIRS.

“We have heard that the Ministers say stamp duty is a form of tax and therefore should be collected by the FIRS,” General Secretary of the Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporations and Government Owned Companies (SSASCGOC), Dr Ayo Olorunfemi, who led the protesters, said.

“And we wonder whether FIRS will take over the responsibility of Nigerian customs because they are collecting import duties,” he added.


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