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Stamp Duty Collection: NIPOST, FIRS Trade Words On Twitter

The Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST) and the Federal and Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) have clashed on Twitter following a series of tweets by Board Chairman, NIPOST, Maimuna Abubakar, alleging that FIRS had “stolen” the postal service’s mandate of stamp duty collection.

On Sunday, Abubakar claimed that NIPOST is the sole custodian of national stamps, accusing the FIRS of trying to “kill and bury” the postal service.

Using the hashtag #justicefornipost, she urged members of the public to come to NIPOST’s aid.

“I am worried for NIPOST, having sleepless nights because of NIPOST. We need the general public to come to our aid; FIRS stole our mandate,” Mrs Abubakar tweeted.

“FIRS are now selling stamps instead of buying from us. What is happening; are we expected to keep quiet and let FIRS kill and bury NIPOST?

“We need to get our mandate. NIPOST is the sole custodian of national stamps; another agency printing and selling stamps is against the law of the land.

“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.

“I like to make this clear, NIPOST is the only agency charged with the responsibility of producing adhesive stamps and revenue for the for the purchase of such stamp accrues to NIPOST.

“There is no where in FIRS act or stamp duty act where it’s so stated that FIRS can produce stamp or sale stamp.”

NIPOST and FIRS

But in a statement issued by Director, Communication and Liaison, FIRS, Abdullahi Ismaila Ahmad, on Tuesday, the service noted that Mrs. Abubakar did not know the difference between “Stamp Duty” and “Postage Stamp”, describing the situation as “unfortunate”.

In a series of tweets via its official Twitter handle, the service further described her tweets as “indecorous” and “ill-advised”.

While urging the public to disregard the “allied misinformation” by Mrs. Abubakar, the FIRS said it will ensure all monies collected by NIPOST into its “illegally operated Stamp Duties Account” are fully recovered and remitted into the federation account.

“We appreciate the general public for demonstrating deep knowledge of the difference between Stamp Duty and Postage Stamp. It is unfortunate that Mrs. Maimuna Abubakar, Chairperson of the NIPOST Board is yet to understand this,” the service tweeted.

“Our attention was drawn to the tweet by Mrs. Abubakar. Her indecorous tweet would not have deserved any response but for the sensitive nature of the issue at stake, which if not sensibly treated and promptly corrected would likely mislead the public.

“To be sure, NIPOST is a government parastatal established by Decree 41 of 1992 with the function to develop, promote, and provide adequate and efficiently co-ordinated postal services at reasonable rates.

“This function is clearly contrary to the claim by NIPOST over the administration of stamp duties in Nigeria.

“On the other hand, the FIRS is the sole agency of government charged with the responsibility of assessing, collecting, and accounting for all tax types including Stamp Duties.

“It is therefore shocking to us that such a privileged young lady who happened to be appointed to high office would throw all caution to the air to cast aspersions on reputable public institutions like the National Assembly and FIRS, which she accused of stealing NIPOST idea.

“This, to say the least, is a preposterous claim and great disservice to the government and people of Nigeria.

“We wish to state categorically that, as an agency which operates within the ambit of the law, the FIRS is determined to not only ensure that all monies collected by NIPOST into its illegally operated Stamp Duties Account are fully remitted into the Federation Account but also make sure that any kobo not accounted for in that account is legally recovered in line with the charge of President Muhammadu Buhari to the recently inaugurated Inter-ministerial committee on the recovery of stamp duties from 2016 till date.

“In addition, anyone found culpable of misappropriating the funds in the said illegal NIPOST Stamp Duties Account would be made to face the law as provisioned by the country’s statute books.

“The public is hereby reminded that we at the FIRS are resolute in our resolve to safeguard national interests and not any personal ego or interest as NIPOST officials appear to carry on lately.

“We therefore call on right-thinking Nigerians to disregard that ill-advised tweet by Mrs. Maimuna Abubakar and allied misinformation being disseminated by NIPOST in relation to Stamp Duties collection, which by law is the responsibility of the FIRS.”

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