The Senate, on Wednesday, mandated its Committee on Finance to probe the non-remittance of stamp duties worth over N20 trillion into the Federation Account by Central Bank of Nigeria.
The motion to investigate the non-remittance was sponsored by Senator Ayo Akinyelure (PDP, Ondo Central), is titled “The need to improve Internally Generated Revenue of the Federal Government of Nigeria through non-oil revenue”.
Akinyelure revealed that the Central Bank had in January 2016, issued a circular directing all banks and financial institutions to charge stamp duty of N50 on lodgments into current accounts against revenue projections by the Federal Government of N2.5 trillion annually.
“The issuance of the said circular by the CBN, all deposit money banks and financial institutions effected N50 per eligible transaction in accordance with the provisions of the Stamp Duty Act 2004 and Federal government Financial Regulations 2009.
“Despite efforts by the Federal Government to recover over N20 trillion from Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Systems (NIBBS) to the Federation Account, the Central Bank of Nigeria and NIBBS have technically refused to comply with the Presidential directives for the recovery of over N20 trillion revenue into the coffers of government.
“The CBN and NIBSS deliberately failed to cooperate and comply with the directives of Mr. President for the realization of over N20 trillion revenue due from stamp duties collected for 2013 to 2016 and subsequently over N5 trillion minimum revenue due to be collected annually to the Federation account to be shared among States of the Federation for infrastructural and economic development.
“The Senate must consider whether the target N20 trillion fund is being recycled into private banks (with impunity) when the Federal Government had directed its recovery.
“Section 111 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) has empowered all 36 State Attorney-Generals and Commissioners for Justice to shut-down any banking operation nationwide for ‘summary recovery’ of stamp duty revenue accruing to them by a further provision of Sections 163 of the same Constitution, and we should not fail in our collective role as Senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to stem the looming crisis for our various constituencies and the nation in general,” Akinyelure said.