N41bn Stamp Duty With CBN Not N20trn – Senator
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions, Uba Sani, has said only about N41 billion had been deposited by banks into the Stamp Duty Collection Account with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as at December 2019.
Sani, who addressed reporters in Abuja, said this is contrary to allegations that the CBN may have failed to remit over N20 trillion Stamp Duty to the Federation Account.
“With all things considered, my committee believes that the sum remitted by banks to the Stamp Duty Collection Account with the CBN, from inception in January 2016, would well be around N41 billion as of October 2019,” he said.
The senator explained that his committee was investigating the matter and cautioned against inflammatory and potentially damaging comments on it.
He also said his committee had received petitions on the allegation against the CBN and had, in the past six months, been meticulously investigating the matter. Sani added that what the committee had uncovered so far was not what some petitioners wanted Nigerians to believe.
He urged members of the public, especially critical stakeholders, not to be in a hurry to conclude that the CBN has actually erred.
The senator, who represents Kaduna Central in the National Assembly, said since he and other members of the committee were sworn in, the issue of alleged non-remittance of Stamp Duty by the CBN had been on the front burner and receiving appropriate attention at the committee level.
He explained that beyond the several depositions by the CBN, the committee had obtained records of other agencies of the Federal Government investigating or familiar with the matter.
Sani said: “It is much more complicated than what most Nigerians know. However, what I can say for now is that from what we have been able to sieve out from documents available to us as well as the depositions we have taken, it is clear that so many forces are confusing Nigerians on this issue.
“With the evidence contained in the plethora of documents the CBN has supplied to my committee, it can easily be deduced that the total Stamp Duty unremitted cannot be over N20 trillion, as being alleged.
“For one, from records available to us, the total deposit in the Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) in Nigeria as of 2016 was only about N18 trillion. So, how then can Stamp Duties alone be N21 trillion, as being claimed by some petitioners?” Sani queried.
The senator noted that from records available to his committee, Stamp Duty collection started in January 2016 when the CBN issued a circular directing Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) to commence imposition of stamp Duty collection and that from the records the CBN and other agencies of the Federal Government have supplied to the Senate Committee, it was glaring that the total number of transactions, including transactions excluded from stamp duty charge, from 2016 to November 2017 is about N518,043,467.
“If you do the simple arithmetic, the stamp duty on these transactions would have amounted to about N25.902 billion. Don’t also forget that Savings Accounts are exempted from payment of stamp duty by law, and they account for about 75 per cent of all bank accounts.
“With all things considered, my committee believes that the sum remitted by banks to the Stamp Duty Collection Account with the CBN from inception in January 2016 would well be around N41 billion as of October 2019.
“But like I said, investigations are still ongoing. Rest assured that our conclusive findings would be made available to the public. Nigerians deserve to know the whole truth,” Sani said.