SENATE, yesterday, mandated its
Committees on Finance and Banking,
Insurance and other Financial
Institutions to investigate an alleged
N20 trillion unremitted stamp duties
revenue in the last five years and
report back within eight weeks.
It, however, commended the
tenacity and fortitude of the School
of Banking Honours, SBH, for
bringing the issue of unremitted
stamp duties revenue to public
notice and for insisting on probity of
the Nigerian Inter Bank Settlement
System, NIBSS.
The Senate’s resolution followed a
motion “Urgent need to investigate
allegations of Unremitted Stamp
Duty Revenue running into trillions
of naira” by Senator John Owan
Enoh (APC Cross River Central) and
co-sponsored by 10 other senators.
Presenting the motion, Senator
Enoh said the Upper House was
“perturbed by recent reports in the
media that over N7 trillion 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 N20 trillion”.
He said it was also “worried that
the provision for stamp duty in the
revenue framework of the nation’s
annual budget for 2015, 2016 and
2017 was N8.713 billion, N66.138
billion and 16.96 billion respectively
despite the above reports”.
Senator Enoh added that the
Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, had
declared in 2013 that stamp duties
revenue accruals from five states
only was over N160 billion.
According to him, the Senate was
apprised of the anti-stamp duties
collection stance of the NIBSS
currently being accused of systemic
diversion of huge revenue flows
from stamp duties collection on the electronic transfer receipt on online
bank transactions, and the necessity
to demand notice on all unremitted
stamp duties.
He submitted that it was “the
duties and responsibilities of the
National Assembly to ensure the
harnessing of all sources of revenue
to the government and to curb all
forms of wastefulness, corruption
and diversion of funds belonging to
the federation”.
According to Senator Enoh, the
Stamp Duty Act is one of the oldest
and enduring laws in Nigeria since
1939, and the application of stamp
duties has institutionally been a
significant revenue earner for both
federal and state governments since
independence, thus accounting for
almost a quarter of the taxation
resources annually.
Contributing, Senator Suleiman
Hunkuyi (APC Kaduna North)
faulted the revenue profile quoted
in the motion, noting that it was not
done in accordance with the laid
down procedure of approvals.
“The revenue profile under stamp
duty between 2015-2017 were
captured as N8.7 billion; N66.1
billion and N16.9 billion for the three
years, but did not show probity, it
does not show that allocation of
whatever is indicated under the
stamp duty of each of those years.
“The same item of revenue in 2015
was N8.7 billion even though the
collection has not been indicated.
This is an indication that whosoever
is providing these figures is not
doing so in consonant with any
laid down procedure of the actual
expectation from approvals on that
item.
“There is no way N8 billion will
be provided this year and then the
next year, N66 billion is provided on
the same sub-head. What has been
in those years is only but a fraction.”

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