FG commences recovery of 6 years backlog of stamp duty

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.

The government disclosed this on Tuesday at the official inauguration of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Audit and Recovery of Back Years Stamp Duties and the Launch of the FIRS Adhesive Stamp held at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.

Abdullahi Ismaila Ahmad, Director, Communications and Liaison Department, in a statement, noted that Mr. Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), who represented President Muhammadu Buhari, noted that there was “assurance that the collection from stamp duty will be second to oil revenue, as it has the potential to yield up to a trillion naira if properly harnessed.”

Consequently, the President also directed that all institutions of government and related stakeholders should support the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Audit and Recovery of Back Years Stamp Duties to enable it succeed on its assignment.

Muhammad Nami, the Executive Chairman of FIRS, disclosed that the Service has grown revenues from Stamp Duties by over 1,000 percent, totalling N66 billion in the first five months of 2020 alone, compared with N6 billion naira collected from January to May 2019.

Mr. Nami attributed this increase to the dynamism triggered by Finance Act 2019, sums warehoused by the CBN in respect of prior years, and the deployment of technology and stakeholders’ collaboration.

He added: “The introduction of the FIRS Stamp Duties Adhesive Stamp will, among other things, plug the revenue sink-hole; enable proper accountability and transparency; simplify administration of Stamp Duties; and reduce disputes.”

Top government functionaries at the event who included the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, among others stressed the importance of diversification of government’s revenue sources.

Mustapha 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.

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