The House of Representatives has approved sanctions against 15 commercial banks in the country for alleged under-remittance of a total sum of N1,586,662,611 stamp duty collected on behalf of the Nigerian Postal Service( NIPOST) into the federation account.
The affected banks apart from being penalised are to pay the amount they under-remitted to the Federation Account with interest.
The House took the decision at the Committee of the Whole, yesterday, after it considered and adopted the recommendations of the report of the Ad-hoc Committee that investigated alleged non -remittance of stamp duty into the Federation Account.
Other recommendations of the Ad-hoc Committee, which was adopted by the Green Chamber include: “ That a machinery be put in place to allow recovery of under remittances after further reconciliation is carried out with the banks concerned.
“ That in view of the apparent lack of transparency on the part of most financial institutions, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)should strengthen its supervisory activity to ensure that financial institutions report and remit all government revenues correctly and promptly. That the Central Bank of Nigeria should also ensure that directives sent to financial institutions are followed to the letter.
“ That all banks that were found not to have made full disclosure on stamp duty collections and remittances should be further investigated.
“That financial institutions, especially the Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) should remit all collections with respect to government revenues, promptly and where remittances are not promptly done, the DMBs should be sanctioned. “
Besides, the House urged the government to explore other forms of stamp duty, so as to increase the revenue base of the various tiers of government , in accordance with the provisions of the Stamp Duty Act 2014.