The Federal Government has moved to recover a backlog of unremitted revenues accruing to it through the Stamp Duty Tax in the last six years, saying it will be next to oil revenue.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari, at today’s inauguration of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Audit and Recovery of Back Years Stamp Duties and the Launch of the FIRS Adhesive Stamp said that stamp duty would be second to oil in revenue generation.
According to him, “stamp duty will be second to oil revenue, as it has the potential to yield up to a trillion naira if properly harnessed.”
Mr Mustapha said that with the 2020 federal budget having already recorded over N5 trillion deficit, the government had to explore every possible revenue avenue.
He said: “In the face of dwindling oil revenue, and the global shift away from oil-dependent technological products, it is even more compelling now to begin to think out of the box in order to safeguard the future of our country. Therefore, this administration has resolved to widen the revenue base by activating stamp duties revenue collection which has been neglected for more than 20 years.
“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, he said, directed that all recoveries made by the Committee be remitted to appropriate stamp duty account maintained by FGN with the Central Bank of Nigeria.
In his address, the Executive Chairman of FIRS, Mr Muhammad Nami, disclosed that the Federal Inland Revenue Service has grown revenues from Stamp Duties by over 1,000 per cent, totalling N66 billion in the first five months of 2020 alone, compared with N6 billion naira collected from January to May 2019.
He attributed this increase to the dynamism triggered by the Finance Act 2019, sums warehoused by the CBN in respect of prior years, and the deployment of technology and stakeholders’ collaboration.
According to him, “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.”
In his remarks, Senate President, Sen. Ahmed Lawan, who launched the adhesive stamp said that the 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.
Sen. Lawan said, “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.”