The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has written the 36 state governors over compliance with Audit and recovery of back years of stamp duty.
The minister’s Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Jibrilu Gwandu, made this known in a press statement titled “Stamp duty: No recoveries yet as Malami writes 36 governors” issued on Wednesday.
“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 letter reads in part.
According to the statement, recoveries are being conducted for the Federal Ministries, Departments, Agencies and Financial Institutions.
It added that at this stage, liabilities are being established, and no actual recovery has been made.
The statement added that Section III of the Stamp Duty Act granted the Attorney General of the Federation an exclusive power to recover any outstanding payment or remittances related to stamp duty.
“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.
He added that the AGF activated those powers, conducted the audit and recovery of back years stamp duty with the collaboration of stakeholders.
Gwandu also stated that the Federal 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.