NIPOST workers protest FG moves to cede stamp duty collection to FIRS
NIPOST workers on Thursday protested to condemn any attempt by the federal government to take over the stamp duty collection of the NIPOST function and transfer the same to Federal inland Revenue Service.
The workers held the protest at the finance ministry immediately after the budget breakdown presided over by the minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning Zainab Ahmed.
Ayo Olorunfemi, General Secretary, Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporations and Government Owned Companies, who led the protest in Abuja said that only NIPOST has the mandate under the existing law to produce stamp and sell same for both postage and duty purposes adding that the migration from physical or adhesive to electronic stamping can never lead to a change of ownership.
“The action of the Minister is unfortunate, inimical to the ideals preached by this administration and if not checked is capable of causing inter-agency disunity or unhealthy rivalry even now when all hands must be on deck to uplift the Nation”.
Olorunfemi speaking further requested that President Muhammadu Buhari recall the move as it could lead to disunity and rivalry among government agencies adding that the worst that can happen in the circumstance is the movement of NIPOST to the Ministry of Finance which to us is superfluous; very unnecessary. NIPOST is currently well-positioned under the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy
“From the argument of the Minister, it follows that stamp duty is a form of taxation its collection should be ceded to the FIRS. Does that mean that the Nigeria Custom which also collects various duties will also revert its functions to FIRS? Of course, if we permit the evil as being perpetrated, the roles of Custom service, Nigeria Ports Authority, Standard Organisation of Nigeria and all revenue collecting agencies will eventually be ceded to FlRS under the highly powerful Minister of Finance”, he added.
He alleged that the minister had made lobbied to get the House of Representatives to pass the bill saying that since the stamp is used to denote receipts, transactions and other documents, it is a tax and her agency must take it over.