Fresh Crisis Looms Over Stamp Duties Collection
There are indications that a fresh crisis may occur between the federal government and a trade union over which is responsible for the collection of stamp duties between the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST).
Economic Confidential reports that there has been a cold war between the two federal government agencies about which is empowered by law of the land to assess, collect and account for stamp duties.
But with the signing of the Finance Act recently by President Muhammadu Buhari, NIPOST was stripped of the responsibility — a development the Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporations and Government-Owned Companies (SSASCGOC), an affiliate of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), has kicked against.
Speaking to journalists in Abuja during the weekend, the Treasurer of TUC, who is the immediate past President General of SSASCGOC, Mohammad Yunusa, told newsmen that the federal government had already been dragged to court on the matter.
Comrade Yunusa said, “The problem we have is the one that is connected to the federal government directly; it is about the Finance Act. The Finance Act has given the primary functions of NIPOST, which is one of our branches, to FIRS, and we have challenged the government on this matter even to the court, that the Finance Act must be reversed.
‘’You can’t take the statutory function of NIPOST and give to other agencies in the disguise of Finance Act; we won’t accept it.”
He further said, “Is there any organisation by law that is allowed to produce and sell stamps in Nigeria apart from NIPOST?”
Yunusa also said TUC would do everything possible in its right to ensure the move by the government to privatise the Nigerian Communication Satellite (NIGCOMSAT) was not achieved, arguing that the agency would go into extinction immediately it was privatised.
He said, “The federal government is trying to interfere in NIGCOMSAT. Although, to a great extent, we have settled that matter, but they have not entirely removed their hands. Government is thinking of privatising that organisation with the excuse that they it is not generating enough revenue. But we are saying No!