Nigeria: Union Kicks As Govt Moves to Remove NIPOST Core Mandate

2 December 2019

The Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporations and Government Owned Companies (SSASCGOC), has cautioned against what it called planned scheme by the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), to take over the core mandate of Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST).

This was contained in a letter dated 27 November 2019, which was made available to Daily Trust yesterday, to President Muhammadu Buhari, the Senate President Ahmed Lawal and the Speaker of House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila. The union alleged that the scheme, being spearheaded by the Finance minister will divert the core duty of stamp duty collections, both physical and electronics, from NIPOST to FIRS.

The provisions of Stamp Duties Act Cap S8 Laws of the Federation 2004 and the NIPOST Act Cap N127 LFN 2004, gave the sole power to collect stamp duties to NIPOST.

In the letter, signed by the President-General of SSASCGOC, Mohammed Yunusa and the General Secretary Ayo Olorunfemi, the union recalled that "the Post Office, which metamorphosized into NIPOST was a pre-independence creation; and noted that from independence to date, there had been series of amendments that had been made into the current statute that established the organization."

"Your Excellency may wish to be informed that the Finance Bill before the National Assembly has a provision amending the Stamp Duties Act Cap S8 LFN 2004 in line with NIPOST request and as contained in the draft regulations earlier agreed by all the stakeholders." We are therefore surprised to discover that there had been overt move by the office of the Minister of Finance to divert the collection which is the responsibility of NIPOST to another agency of the Government - Federal Inland Revenue Service to the detriment of NIPOST and overall National Development."

Explaining further, the union said that denoting receipts, documents and other instruments with adhesive postage stamp predates the establishment of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

According to SSASCGOC "if this is allowed, it would get to a time when the FIRS would want to take over the jobs of all revenue generation agencies of government, such as NAFDAC, NNPC and such other parastatals."

To this end, SSASCGOC, called on President Buhari, the Senate President and the Speaker of House of Representatives to consider and reverse any attempt to divert this revenue source from NIPOST to any other government agency.

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