Senate Passes Bill Baring NIPOST From Collecting Stamp Duties

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The Senate has passed the Nigerian Postal Service (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill, 2021, which now bars the agency from collecting Stamp Duties. The development has ended about three years of fight between NIPOST and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) in charge of revenue collection. During the launch of Nigeria’s 60th Independence Anniversary Commemorative Postage Stamps held at the Digital Economy Complex, Mbora Abuja, NIPOST had reclaimed the collection of stamp duty from the FIRS. “Our efforts regarding the issue of stamp duty collection with other government Institutions have yielded positive results. “NIPOST has been recognised as a government agency with statutory and historical authority to be the producer of stamps and recognised for the collection of stamp duties for validation of financial transactions in the country,” said Isah Pantami, C&DE Minister on 11th March, 2021. But the bill passed on Tuesday by the country’s highest legislative body nullifies the claim by the Minister. It was presented to the Senate by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Communications, Senator Oluremi Tinubu (Lagos Central). The power over the Stamp Duty is now conferred to the FIRS based on the provisions of Section 2 subsection 1-3. The section provides that “There is hereby established a body to be known as the Nigerian Postal Service (hereby designated as the Public Postal Operator) which (a) shall be a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal. “The Postal Operator shall be charged with the responsibility of providing Universal Postal Service in Nigeria. “In carrying out its Universal Postal Service Obligations, the provisions of any enactment, law or regulation relating to taxation of companies, agencies or trusts funds shall not apply to the Public Postal Operator save for its obligation as a collecting agent of Government.” During the session, Tinubu explained that sub-clause (1)(b) was removed as the Board cannot borrow or raise funds for the entity while sub-clause (1)(c) was amended to conform with existing legislation. She revealed that clause 5(2) was introduced to specify the minimum qualifications for the appointment of the Postmaster-General. The senate however amended sub-clause 3 so that “the Minister may, with the approval of the President, at any time remove any member of the Board from office on the grounds of misconduct, conviction, infirmity or disease of the mind.” It also adjusted clause 5(1) to make the appointment of the Postmaster General the exclusive prerogative of the President as against the recommendation of the Minister.

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