The Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, has denied the claim that it has recovered funds generated from stamp duties.
Recall that the 36 states through their Attorneys-General dragged Malami before the Supreme Court over the alleged failure of the government to remit funds generated from stamp duties into state accounts.
In the suit filed on August 24, the state attorneys argued that they are “the sole authority to administer and collect stamp duties on all transactions involving individuals/persons within their respective states.”
They also want the court to order FG to pay “all the sum of monies amounting N176,067,400,000 representing ascertained and admitted collected stamp duties on individual persons’ transactions within their respective states for the period of 2015- 2020.”
But in a statement on Wednesday by his spokesman, Umar Gwandu, said the minister has written a letter to all the 36 governors to explain the situation surrounding the stamp duty saga.
Gwandu stated that the federal government is yet to recover stamp duty funds made from January 15, 2016, to June 30, 2020.
He said what the AGF did was to “activate those powers, conduct the audit and recovery of back years stamp duty in collaboration with stakeholders.”
The statement reads: “The recoveries are being conducted for the federal ministries, departments, agencies and financial institutions. At this stage, liabilities are being established, and no actual recovery has been made.
“The federal government has set up an inter-ministerial committee on audit and recovery of back years stamp duties from January 15, 2016, to June 30, 2020.
“Members of the committee were drawn from office of the AGF in collaboration with relevant agencies including the office of the secretary to the government of the federation, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), office of the accountant-general of the federation, ministry of finance, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Revenue Mobilization and Fiscal Allocation Commission, among others.
“Pursuant to Mr president’s approval and directives, I also wish to request your excellency to direct the state ministries, departments, agencies, and regulatory institutions of the financial sector to engage and grant access to the appointed recovery agents for the purpose of the audit and recovery of stamp duty to ensure that all established liabilities are remitted as appropriate.
“While conceding that the states have similar powers with the AGF with respect of stamp duty of ministries, departments, agencies and financial institutions in their respective states, the AGF organized a meeting with state attorneys in view of the need to provide a comprehensive overview of the process and to proper understanding the task.”
Source: Naija News