By Victor Ahiuma-Young
Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporations and Government Owned Companies, SSASCGOC, has pleaded with the Federal Government to urgently convene a stakeholders’ meeting to discuss the issue of stamp duties and its production that has become as source of rift between Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, Nigeria Postal Service, NIPOST.
SSASCGOC contended that such meeting should include the FIRS, NIPOST, SSASCGOC, the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy.
The union made the call in a statement by its General Secretary, Ayo Olorunfemi, even as it declared that it had the responsibility to protect the interest of all senior staff in Statutory Corporations in Nigeria, including FIRS.
Recall that SSASCGOC had last month, issued a 21-day ultimatum to the Federal Government on the issue, insisting that failure to call the stakeholders’ meeting would leave it with no option than to declare full industrial action.
While calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene, the union said: “As a responsible union we have called on the Federal Government in the spirit of social dialogue, to convene a stakeholders meeting of FIRS, NIPOST, SSASCGOC, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy to discuss the issue of stamp as it relates to stamp duties.
“Failure to do this, the Union shall have no other option than to declare full industrial action. A 21-day ultimatum/notice had been given to the federal government already.
“We are calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene on this matter before it degenerates into an avoidable industrial relations crisis, which is capable of embarrassing Nigeria in the committee of Nations.
“SSASCGOC recognises the power given to FIRS by the law to collect stamp duty, The power given to NIPOST by law to produce the stamp must also be recognised. That is the reason we are saying that stamp which is the major instrument to demote duties is a legal product owned by NIPOST and should be procured by FIRS to carry out the collection.
“SSASCGOC has responsibilities towards the protection of the interest of all senior staff of Statutory Corporations in Nigeria including FIRS as pronounced by the NIC judgements of December 17, 2019, and May 2020.
“SSASCGOC has noted the lies and blackmail by one of the Unions in its attempt towards pitching the management and staff of FIRS against this Union.
“Consequently, there is a need to set the record straight. SSASCGOC, no matter the provocation, will not join issue with any union.
“SSASCGOC has responsibilities towards the protection of the interest of all senior staff of Statutory Corporations in Nigeria including FIRS as pronounced by the NIC judgements of December 17, 2019 and May 2020.
“We are confident that the hardworking staff of FIRS will not be pleased if their counterpart in NIPOST becomes redundant due to the illegal removal of one of their core mandates. The Finance Act did not give power to FIRS to produce stamp.