By Shola AmodemajaÂ
The Nigeria Employersâ€™ Consultative Association (NECA) has expressed grave concern over the recent directive of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to all Deposit Money Banks (DMB) to commence the charging of N50 per eligible transaction in accordance with the provisions of the Stamp Duties Act and Federal Government Financial Regulations (2009).
The association noted this will further put unnecessary burden on common Nigerians which it informed are already over-burdened with pressures arising from different government policies that are not economically friendly to the masses. Â
It would be recalled that Organised Businesses had opposed attempts by the Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST) to compel companies to affix a N50 postal stamp on all receipts, invoices and documents evidencing transaction of N1, 000 and above.
Speaking in Lagos, the Director General of NECA, Mr. Olusegun Oshinowo said that: â€œthere is a pending case at the Court of Appeal on this subject matter between Kasmal International Services Limited and. Access Bank & 23 others. NIPOST is aware of this development and all parties, as law abiding citizens, were expected to await the pronouncement of the courtâ€. He stated further that â€œthe power to administer the Stamp Duties Act is within the purview of the Commissioner for Stamps as provided for in Section 6 of the Act, and not NIPOST or CBN and that the Act did not make the affixing of postage stamp mandatory, neither did the Act specify the value to be a N50 postage stampâ€.
He urged the Buhari administration not to introduce policies that will increase the burden on the citizens and firms within the economy. According to him, Nigeria should take a cue from other climes where, Stamp Dutyâ€™s applicability is limited to purchases involving large sums like a house purchase or importation of goods as against the position of applying N50 postage stamp to â€œall receipts given by any bank (or financial institution) in acknowledgement of services rendered in respect of electronic transfer and teller depositsâ€.
The Director General of NECA, Mr Olusegun Oshinowo, speaking on behalf of the Organised Private Sector (OPS) further advised that â€œPresident Buhari will do well by ignoring the call by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to boost the revenue base of the Federal Government through this means which will increase the burden on citizens and kill struggling businessesâ€.