By Chika Otuchikere
The the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has dragged the Board chairperson of the Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST) Hajiya Maimuna Abubakar, to the cleaners over what it terms “false claims over Stamp Duty”.
The FIRS described as “false and indecorous” the NIPOST claims that both the FIRS and the National Assembly appropriated NIPOST’s ideas about stamp duties to the exclusion of the postal service.
The FIRS debunked Hajiya Abubakar’s claims in a statement titled, “Re: That Vexed NIPOST Twit by Mrs. Maimuna Abubakar”, issued on Tuesday by Director, Communications and Liaison Department, FIRS, Abdullahi Ismaila Ahmad.
The statement reads in full:
RE: That Vexed NIPOST Twit by Mrs. Maimuna Abubakar
The attention of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has been drawn to a twit by Mrs. Maimuna Abubakar, Chairperson of the Board of NIPOST. Her indecorous twit would not have deserved any response but for the sensitive nature of the issue at stake, which if not sensibly treated and promptly corrected would likely mislead the public.
To be sure, NIPOST is a government parastatal established by Decree 41 of 1992 with the function to develop, promote, and provide adequate and efficiently coordinated postal services at reasonable rates . This function is clearly contrary to the claim by NIPOST over the administration of stamp duties in Nigeria.
On the other hand, the FIRS is the sole agency of government charged with the responsibility of assessing, collecting, and accounting for all tax types including Stamp Duties.
It is therefore shocking to us at the FIRS that such a privileged young lady who happened to be appointed to high office would throw all caution to the air to cast aspersions on reputable public institutions like the National Assembly and the FIRS, which she accused of stealing NIPOST idea. This, to say the least, is a preposterous claim and great disservice to the government and people of Nigeria.
We wish to state categorically that, as an agency which operates within the ambit of the law, the FIRS is determined to not only ensure that all monies collected by NIPOST into its illegally operated Stamp Duties Account are fully remitted into the Federation Account but also make sure that any kobo not accounted for in that account is legally recovered in line with the charge of President Muhammadu Buhari to the recently inaugurated Inter-ministerial committee on the recovery of stamp duties from 2016 till date. In addition, anyone found culpable of misappropriating the funds in the said illegal NIPOST Stamp Duties Account would be made to face the law as provisioned by the country’s statute books.
The public is hereby reminded that we at the FIRS are resolute in our resolve to safeguard national interests and not any personal ego or interest as NIPOST officials appear to carry on lately. We therefore call on right-thinking Nigerians to disregard that ill-advised twit by Mrs. Maimuna Abubakar and allied misinformation being disseminated by NIPOST in relation to Stamp Duties collection, which by law is the responsibility of the FIRS.