By Olajire Philip on 08/01/2017
It is no longer news that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had through a circular issued on Jan 15, 2016 directed Deposit Money Banks to deduct N50 Stamp Duty on each deposit on each deposit made into current accounts with a value of N1,000.00 and above, in order to boost government's revenue drive in compliance with the Stamp Duty Act of 2004.
It would be proper for Nigerians to know how much was realised from the stamp duty contributed in 2016. This stamp duty was introduced due to the drop in revenue accruing to the government from crude oil sale, as result of the fall in its price, and pipeline vandalism.
To Nigerians, Stamp Duty means, paying N50 for an ‘unseen’ stamp to make bank deposits. Unfortunately, the Federal Government has directed banks as from January 2017 to extend the N50 collections to the savings accounts. What an extra burden!
Why was the government taking loans and still making moves to obtain another $30 billion loan? Why has the finance minister put Nigerians in the dark as touching the trillions on naira made from the stamp duty collections? How much revenue is expected to accrue this year when it has now been extended to the savings account? These questions and more are begging for answers.
This N50 deducted from each deposit N1,000 and above is transferred into the accounts of NIPOST. Some people abandoned their current accounts and moved to the savings account last year because of the deduction. But now, the deduction is now inevitable.
For over a month, there has been reduction in oil pipeline vandalism and this has increased the revenue of the government. I believe the Federal Government must consolidate the peaceful atmosphere obtained in the pipeline sector and make it a permanent one.
The PMB administration has been shouting diversification of the economy, while Nigerians are crying of hardship already, yet another burden has been added. Nigerians aren’t happy with this kind of pseudo-diversification.
Imagine the number of banks available in Nigeria, as well as the number of transactions made on a daily basis. Consider the number of deposits made online, even when banks were shut. Unfortunately, we have not been told the targeted revenue from the Stamp Duty collection for 2017.
Nigerians are wondering if transparency and accountability are still the watchwords of the PMB administration. The change and anti-corruption mantra that brought the PMB administration on board will be nothing to write home about, if nothing meaningful is done now.
The Ministry of Finance and concerned agencies, such as NIPOST and CBN should as a matter of urgency, release the figures of the money accrued to government coffers for 2016 as well as the target for 2017. Nigerians need to know.
•Olajire-Philip can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org>
Source News Express
Posted 08/01/2017 06:13:47 AM
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