Senate probes ‘diversion of N20trn stamp duties’

The senate has directed its committee on finance, banking and insurance to investigate allegations of unremitted stamp duties revenue valued at about N20 trillion.

The panel will probe the implementation of the stamp duty act collection in the last five years and report its findings, observations and recommendations to the senate in about eight weeks.

John Enoh, senator, Cross River central, led the motion entitled ‘Urgent need to investigate allegations of unremitted Stamp Duty Revenue running into trillions of naira’.

He said N20 trillion due to be paid into the federation account from stamp duty charges on bank transactions was withheld between 2015 and 2017.

The senator said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) declared in 2013 that stamp duties revenue accruals from five states alone were over N160 billion.

Enoh made reference to the stamp duty act in line with the nation’s revenue structure.

“The provision for stamp duty in the revenue framework of the nation’s annual budget for 2015, 2016 and 2017 has been N8.713 billion, N66.138 billion and N16.96 billion respectively,” he said.

Supporting the motion, Suleiman Hukunyi, senator representing Kaduna north, called for the need to demand notice on all unremitted stamp duties.

“The figures here do not show probity,” he said.

“The allocations of the stamp duties of the three years running appeared not to have been given any attention. According to a report, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said only five states were approved to be on stamp duties.

“Without gainsaying, the figures provided here are alarming. As a matter of necessity, we should approve the motion for a probe.”
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