A fresh war of words has broken out between NIPOST and the Federal Inland Revenue Service,FIRS over which agency should actually control the raging issue of stamp duty in Nigeria.
The latest salvo was fired by the Chairman, NIPOST Board, Maimuna Abubakar who used her twitter handle to tweet about her organization’s position. And her tweets have the hashtag #Justicefornipost which seems to have escalated the matter on the social media.He tweet touched on nerves when she accused FIRS stealing NIPOST idea. She said, “FIRS did not only steal our stamps but also our ideas, what NIPOST had worked for since 2016, our documents, patent and sneaked everything into finance bill and tactically removed the name of NIPOST #justicefornipost”
Reacting to her allegation, FIRS described Abubakar’s claims as shocking. FIRS Spokesman,Dr Abdullahi Ismaila Ahmad said Tuesday, it was “shocking to us at the FIRS that such a privileged young lady who happened to be appointed to high office would throw all caution to the air to cast aspersions on reputable public institutions like the National Assembly and the FIRS, which she accused of stealing NIPOST idea. This, to say the least, is a preposterous claim and great disservice to the government and people of Nigeria.
Maimuna Abubakar’s’ salvo -The tweets:
Tweeting on @ref_ng, Maimuna Abubakar said :‘FIRS are now selling stamps instead of buying from us #justicefornipost
“What is happening, are we expected to keep (quiet) and let FIRS kill and bury NIPOST?
“We need to get our mandate back #justicefornipost
“NIPOST are the sole custodians of national stamps, another agency printing and selling stamps is against the law of the land #justicefornipost.
She added: “FIRS did not only steal our stamps but also our ideas, what NIPOST had worked for since 2016, our documents, patent and sneaked everything into finance bill and tactically removed the name of NIPOST #justicefornipost
“I like to make this clear, NIPOST is the only agency charged with the responsibility of producing adhesive stamps and revenue for the for the purchase of such stamp accrues to NIPOST #justicefornipost
“There is no where in FIRS act or stamp duty act where it’s so stated that FIRS can produce stamp or sale stamp #justicefornipost
“Did you know that NIPOST had generated over 60b in NIPOST CBN account for the Federal Government? #justicefornipost.
FIRS Fires back:
The NIPOST Chairman’s tweets elicited an equally feisty response from FIRS Tuesday morning FIRS specifically addressing Maimuna’s allegations. A statement signed by Abdullahi Ismaila Ahmad, Director Communication and Liaison, Federal Inland Revenue Service titled: “Re: That Vexed NIPOST Tweet By Mrs. Maimuna Abubakar” described the NIPOST chairman’s tweets as an attempt to mislead the public.
The FIRS response reads thus:
“The attention of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has been drawn to a tweet by Mrs. Maimuna Abubakar, Chairperson of the Board of NIPOST. Her indecorous tweet would not have deserved any response but for the sensitive nature of the issue at stake, which if not sensibly treated and promptly corrected would likely mislead the public.
“To be sure, NIPOST is a government parastatal established by Decree 41 of 1992 with the function to develop, promote, and provide adequate and efficiently coordinated postal services at reasonable rates . This function is clearly contrary to the claim by NIPOST over the administration of stamp duties in Nigeria.
On the other hand, the FIRS is the sole agency of government charged with the responsibility of *assessing, collecting, and accounting for all tax types including Stamp Duties.*
“It is therefore shocking to us at the FIRS that such a privileged young lady who happened to be appointed to high office would throw all caution to the air to cast aspersions on reputable public institutions like the National Assembly and the FIRS, which she accused of stealing NIPOST idea. This, to say the least, is a preposterous claim and great disservice to the government and people of Nigeria.
“We wish to state categorically that, as an agency which operates within the armbit of the law, the FIRS is determined to not only ensure that all monies collected by NIPOST into its illegally operated Stamp Duties Account are fully remitted into the Federation Account but also make sure that any kobo not accounted for in that account is legally recovered in line with the charge of President Muhammadu Buhari to the recently inaugurated Inter-ministerial committee on the recovery of stamp duties from 2016 till date. In addition, anyone found culpable of misappropriating the funds in the said illegal NIPOST Stamp Duties Account would be made to face the law as provisioned by the country’s statute books.
“The public is hereby reminded that we at the FIRS are resolute in our resolve to safeguard national interests and not any personal ego or interest as NIPOST officials appear to carry on lately. We therefore call on right-thinking Nigerians to disregard that ill-advised tweet by Mrs. Maimuna Abubakar and allied misinformation being disseminated by NIPOST in relation to Stamp Duties collection, which by law is the responsibility of the FIRS.”