The Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, has written letters to Governors of the 36 states of the Federation for the purpose of compliance with audit and recovery of back years of stamp duty from Jan. 15, 2016 to June 30, 2020.
Dr Umar Gwandu, the Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations to the Minister disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.
“Pursuant to Mr President’s approval and directives, I also wish to request Your Excellency to direct the State Ministries, Departments, Agencies, and Regulatory Institutions of Financial Sector to engage and grant access to the appointed Recovery Agents for the purpose of the Audit and Recovery of Stamp Duty to ensure that all established liabilities are remitted as appropriate,” the letter reads in part.
Mr Malami noted that the recoveries are being conducted for the Federal Ministries, Departments, Agencies and Financial Institutions and at this stage liabilities are being established, and no actual recovery has been made.
According to him, Section 111 of the Stamp Duty Act grants the Attorney General of the Federation an exclusive power to recover any outstanding payment or remittances related to stamp duty.
The letters were written pursuant to the provision of Section 111 of the Stamp Duty Act which provides 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”.
He said that what he did was to activate those powers, conduct the audit and recovery of back years stamp duty in collaboration with stakeholders.
He noted that the federal government had set up an Inter-Ministerial Committee on Audit and Recovery of Back years Stamp Duties from Jan. 15, 2016 to June 30, 2020.
“Members of the committee were drawn from office of the Minister in collaboration with relevant Agencies including the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Federal Inland Revenue Service.
“Others include office of the Accountant General of the Federation, Ministry of Finance, Central Bank of Nigeria, Revenue Mobilization and Fiscal Allocation Commission, among others”.
He said that in view of the need to provide a comprehensive overview of the process and to proper understand the task, the minister organised a meeting with Attorneys General of States.
This, he said, is for them to have similar powers with respect to stamp duty of Ministries, Departments, Agencies and Financial Institutions in their respective states.