UPDATED: Senate probes N20trn unremitted stamp duties
by OWEDE AGBAJILEKE, Abuja
November 14, 2017 | 4:39 pm| | | Start Conversation
The Senate has mandated its joint committee on Finance and Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions to investigate allegations of unremitted stamp duties revenue running into over N20 trillion.
Specifically, the panel is to probe the application of the Stamp Duty Act collection in the last five years and report its findings, observations and recommendation to the Senate within eight weeks.
This followed a motion moved by John Enoh (APC, Cross River State) and co-sponsored by 10 others at Tuesday plenary.
The upper legislative chamber also commended the tenacity of the School of Banking, Honours for bringing the issue of unremitted Stamp Duty revenue to public notice and insisting on probity of the Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS).
The lawmaker lamented why the country would rush to domestic and foreign markets to secure loans, which would mortgage Nigeria’s future, when there are huge revenues yet to be remitted to the Federal Government.
Ironically, the motion came on a day the Senate approved $5.5 billion foreign loan request by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Nigeria’s public debt stock stood at N20.373 trillion as of September 30, 2017.
Enoh accused the NIBSS of systemic diversion of huge revenue flows from stamp duties collection, especially electronic transfer receipt on online bank transactions.
“The Senate perturbed by recent reports in the media that over 7 trillion naira in stamp duties revenue from electronic cashless transactions remain unpaid to the federation since 2015, and that the total volume of unremitted stamp duties fund is about 20 trillion naira.
“Worried that the provision for stamp duty in the revenue framework of the nation’s annual budget for 2015, 2016 and 2017 has been N8.713b, N66.138b and 16.96b respectively despite the above reports.
“Informed that the Central Bank of Nigeria declared in 2013 that Stamp Duties revenue accruals from five states only was over 160 billion Naira.
“Convinced of the duties and responsibilities of the National Assembly to ensure the harnessing of all sources of revenue to the government of the Federation, and to curb all forms of wastefulness, corruption and diversion of funds belonging to the Federation,” he said.
OWEDE AGBAJILEKE, Abuja
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