By Victor Ahiuma-Young
NIGERIA Employers Consultative Association, NECA, has expressed serious concern over the recent directive of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to all Deposit Money Banks, DMB, to commence charging N50 per eligible transaction in accordance with the provisions of the Stamp Duties Act and Federal Government Financial Regulations (2009). The umbrella body for employers in the country in a statement while calling for immediate reversal of the directive, warned that if allowed to stay would not only worsen the poverty level in the country, it would also, increase the burden on firms in the country.
NECA in the statement by its Director General, Mr. Segun Oshinowo, equally noted that there was a pending case at the Court of Appeal on this subject matter between Kasmal International Services Limited and Access Bank and 23 others, and urged the Federal Government not to increase the burden on the citizens and firms in the economy
The statement read in part: “The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has expressed grave concern over the recent directive of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to all Deposit Money Banks (DMB) to commence the charging of N50 per eligible transaction in accordance with the provisions of the Stamp Duties Act and Federal Government Financial Regulations (2009).
It would be recalled that Organised Businesses had opposed attempts by the Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST) to compel companies to affix a N50 postal stamp on all receipts, invoices and documents evidencing transaction of N1, 000 and above.
“There is a pending case at the Court of Appeal on this subject matter between Kasmal International Services Limited and Access Bank & 23 others. NIPOST is aware of this development and all parties, as law abiding citizens, were expected to await the pronouncement of the court.”
He stated further that “the power to administer the Stamp Duties Act is within the purview of the Commissioner for Stamps as provided for in Section 6 of the Act, and not NIPOST or CBN and that the Act did not make the affixing of postage stamp mandatory, neither did the Act specify the value to be a N50 postage stamp. NECA urges the Buhari administration not to introduce policies that will increase the burden on the citizens and firms within the economy.
Nigeria should take a cue from other climes where, Stamp Duty’s applicability is limited to purchases involving large sums like a house purchase or importation of goods as against the position of applying N50 postage stamp to all receipts given by any bank (or financial institution) in acknowledgement of services rendered in respect of electronic transfer and teller deposits.”
Mr. Oshinowo advised that “President Buhari will do well by ignoring the call by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to boost the revenue base of the Federal Government through this means which will increase the burden on citizens and kill struggling businesses.”