The Federal Government of Nigeria has said that it is ready to provide support to states in a bid to recover the backlog of Stamp Duty in order to generate more revenue for the country.
This was contained in a statement issued by Umar Gwandu, a Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations to the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.
Mr Malami made the announcement during a virtual meeting with the States’ Attorney-Generals and the Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue and the Members of the Joint Task Board on Tuesday.
According to the statement which was made available to newsmen, the support and cooperation of the Attorney-Generals of the thirty-six states in country and the Joint Tax Board had been solicited on the proposed audit and recovery of backlog of stamp duties from January 15, 2016 to June 39.
The Minister cited Section 111 of the Stamp Duty Act which states that “all duties, fines, penalties and debts due to the Government of the Federation imposed by this Act shall be recoverable in a summarily manner in the name of the Attorney General of the Federation or the State”.
Mr Malami noted that it is permanent to note that by Paragraph 7, Item B of Part II of the Second Schedule to the Constitution and Section 4(2) of Stamp Duty Act, State Governments are empowered to collect stamp duties in respect of transactions between individuals residing in their respective States.
The Minister recalled that Federal Government has set up an Inter-Ministerial Committee on the Audit and Recovery of backlogs of stamp duties.
The Committee, Chaired by the minister’s office was inaugurated by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha on June 30.
DAILY NIGERIAN reports that members of the committee were drawn from the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning and Office of the Accountant General of the Federation.
Others include Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission, Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, Central Bank of Nigeria and Federal Inland Revenue Serves.
The Stamp Duty was originally captured in the Stamp Duties Act 1939 (Ordinance 41 of the 1939) and amended by numerous Acts and various resolutions and contained in the Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
Recently, the Finance Act 2019 amendment to the Stamp Duties Act, particularly Section 52-56 clearly defined the responsibilities for the administration of Stamp Duties in Nigeria.
It also gave the jurisdiction of participating taxing authorizes, as well as explained that the Federal Inland Revenue is the competent tax authority to administer, assess, collect, and account for stamp duty in the country.