Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has denied depriving the Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST) of discharging its duties.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by the agency’s spokesperson, Abdullahi Ahmad, on Tuesday.
On Monday, the chairman of the NIPOST, Maimuna Abubakar, in a series of tweets, accused the FIRS of stealing the mandate of the postal service.
She said the FIRS, responsible for assessing, collecting and accounting for tax accruing to the Federal Government, had begun printing stamps.
Abubakar called on Nigerians to ensure that NIPOST gets justice.
Reacting, FIRS in a series of tweets on Tuesday said the power to collect stamp duties resides with it and not NIPOST.
Abdullahi Ismaila Ahmad, FIRS Director Communication and Liaison stated;
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.
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.
The director stressed;
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 got 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.
According to him, 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 money not accounted for in that account is legally recovered.
He expressed that this 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.
The director added;
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.
Concluding the statement, Ahmad appealed;
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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