The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has written the 36 state governors to inform them that there have been no recoveries on stamp duty yet.
This was contained in a statement on Wednesday by his Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Jibrilu Gwandu, titled, “Stamp Duty: No recoveries yet as Malami writes 36 governors.”
Malami disclosed that recoveries were being done for the Federal Ministries, Departments, Agencies and financial institutions, adding that liabilities were being established at the moment with no actual recovery made.
The statement added that the AGF was granted an exclusive power by Section lll of the Stamp Duty Act to recover any outstanding payments or remittances related to stamp duty.
“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 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,” Gwandu stated in the statement.
Gwadu added that Malami activated the powers, conducted the audit and recovery of back years stamp duty with the collaboration of stakeholders.
He further explained that the Nigerian government had set up an Inter-Ministerial Committee on Audit and Recovery of Back years Stamp Duties from January 15, 2016 to June 30, 2020.
“Members of the committee were drawn from Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice in collaboration with relevant agencies including the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, Ministry of Finance, Central Bank of Nigeria, Revenue Mobilization and Fiscal Allocation Commission, among others.
“In view of the need to provide a comprehensive overview of the process and to proper understanding the task, the Attorney General of the Federation organized a meeting with Attorneys General of States for they have similar powers with respect of stamp duty of Ministries, Departments, Agencies and Financial Institutions in their respective states,” he said.
The Attorneys-General of the 36 states of the federation had sued Malami over alleged failure of Nigerian government to remit funds generated from stamp duties into the accounts of state governments.
According to the states, they are the sole authorities to collect stamp duties and not the Nigerian government.