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Stamp Duty’s Controversy: FIRS Convinces Senate on right of collection

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Stamp Duty’s Controversy: FIRS Convinces Senate on right of collection
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The Controversy over right of revenue collections on Stamp duty between the Federal Inland Revenue Service ( FIRS) and Nigerian Postal Service ( NIPOST), was laid to rest Thursday with submissions by FIRS that it is backed by relevant laws for that mandate.

But the agency’s projection of N500billion as expected revenues from the duties collection in 2021 budget, was not acceptable to members of the Senate’s joint committee on Finance and National Planning .

Right of ownership of stamp Duties collection between FIRS and NIPOST and the issue of two separate stamp Duties , came up during an interactive session between the joint committee and FIRS officials on the agency’s revenues projections for 2021 as contained in the 2021- 2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework ( MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper ( FSP).

Specifically, at the session , the Chairman of the joint Committee, Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola ( APC Lagos West) , interigated the FIRS executive Chairman, Muhamnad Nami, on who owns the right of collection of the Duties and the N500billion projected as revenue for 2021 budget as against N1.5trillion .

Nami in his response said there are two types of Stamp duties which are electronically related one and the adhesive ones stated in section 5(2) of the stamp duty Act .

Postage stamp he added, is different from stamp Duties payments which going by relevant laws can be made to FIRS or IRS.

According to him, though he observed that the lacunae in the stamp Duties Act, urgently needed to be addressed but right of collection for the electronic related ones has been legally given to FIRS by the National Assembly through the Finance bill passed last year and assented to, by President Buhari into an Act of Parliament .

” Besides, stamp Duties are more of tax collections which the FIRS , is constitutionally empowered by relevant provisions to carry out “, he said .

But the committee members took up the FIRS boss on the N500billion revenue projected for 2021 budget when parameters on ground, clearly indicate that the agency can rake in N3.06trillion, based on the parameters on ground if utilised maximally.

He said if the parameters are utilised up to 65% they can rake in N2.9trillion or at worst, if 50% of the available parameters are utilised, N1.5trillion revenue can be raked in .

Specifically, a member of the committee, Senator Gabriel Suswam ( PDP Benue East) , said the N500 billion projected as revenue from stamp Duties by FIRS in the 2021 budget is too meagre and inimical to practicability of the projected N12.6trillion 2021 budget .

” The deficit in the projected budget is N5.1trillion , requiring aggressive revenue generation internally by agencies like FIRS , in making the budget implementable ” , he said .

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Legislature

Senate panel suspends budget defense over attacks by hoodlums

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Senate panel suspends budget defense over attacks by hoodlums

Senate committee on Interior yesterday suspended budget defence by the agencies under its purview on account of the #ENDSARS protests that was hijacked by hoodlums and the COVID-19 pandermic.
The committee chairman senator Kashim Shetima said most of the paramilitary organisations were victims of the attacks by the hoodlums as some of their offices were attacked and others burnt down.
He said they have submitted their 2020/2021 budget containing details hence there was no compelling need for them to hang on.

“Those paramilitary organisations, the Federal fire service and the Civil Defence submitted their budgets containing details of expenditure.
“We have received and will subject them to public scrutiny and when the need arises we will call them back to shed more light.

“In the light of the growing challenges and the issue of the  pandemic we felt compelled not to dissipate their useful time and energy answering a lot of questions from us.

He said there are no compelling issues to hold them back.
“If there is need for them to appear before us as we said earlier, we will call them back and subject them to scrutiny.
“We have the budget and there are explanations on  how the funds are expended.
“If we want an additional information we will inquire from them but right now some of their organisation are being attacked some of their offices were burnt down, so how do you expect us to hold them to ransome here while their needs for them to attend to outside.”

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Legislature

Senate faults FG’s lackadaisical approach to environmental safety

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Senate faults FG’s lackadaisical approach to environmental safety

**Minister says Ogoni cleanup is FG’s priority

The Senate committee has on Environment has expressed disappointment over Nigeria’s disregard for environmental safety issues.

This came to the fore Tuesday during the Budget defense by the ministry of environment before the the Senate Committee on Environment.

Chairman of the Committee, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, indicated that government’s failure to accord priority to environment issues is underscored by the relatively poor budgetary allocation to the Environment Ministry.

The Environment Minister, Mohammad Abubakar told the Senate Committee that his Ministry is presently tackling environmental issues including oil spills, among others.

The sum of N8.9 billion is the total allocation for the Environment Ministry, as captured in the 2021 budget.

When asked about the much talked about Ogoni cleanup that has lingered for some years the minister said,

“Three weeks ago we were able to completed six remediated sites that are being certified by National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) right now. I think about three or four more are in the pipeline to be completed and certified and the remaining fifteen sites of the first 21 are being worked on seriously and we completion very soon. “There are 36 additional sites that have been awarded. They are at various stages of work. “There are livelihood programme that are going on which have been part of the clean up project by UN Environment Programme (UNEP) that is ongoing currently.
“About 1200 women and youths are being trained in various skills like agriculture, aquaculture, poultry, welding and so on. A great number of youths have been employed by the projects.”
He said the cleanup of Ogoni is ongoing adding that it is one of the main project of this administration.

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Legislature

CNA decries theft by Legislative Aide in NASS

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CNA decries theft by Legislative Aide in NASS
…As NASSLAF inaugurates new Exco

The Clerk to the National Assembly (CNA), Architect Ojo Amos Olatunde, has condemned in strongest terms, the burglary act recently carried out by a legislative aide in the National Assembly .

The CNA who made the condemnation in Abuja Friday during the inauguration ceremony of newly elected executives of the National Assembly Legislative Aides Forum ( NASSLAF), challenged the new executives to fish out bad eggs among them .

” It is sad to note the ugly incident that occurred recently , when a legislative Aide was caught breaking into the office of a Lawmaker .
” What would have prompted such regrettable incident? There is the need for this newly elected executives to be vigilant by flushing out any bad eggs amongst you ” , he said .
He also admonished the executive to run welfare – driven Unionism and not confrontational one against the management in any way, since accordimg to him, most of their outstanding demands, were met within his first 28 days in office as Clerk to the National Assembly .

His words, “This EXCO must be guided that Unionism is all about welfare of all and sundry .
“Union matters must witness a new dawn and turn, which must be separated from the ugly past.
“I am proud and elated to state that under my watch, we have fulfilled the promise of the ‘First 28 Days’, and we are resolved to make sure that not only all statutory claims of Legislative Aides are promptly paid, but training programmes are pursued to logical conclusions ” .

The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan who was represented by the Senate Deputy Leader, Senator Robert Ajayi Boroffice ( APC Ondo North), also tasked the newly inaugurated EXCO to make NASSLAF the required lubricant of the operational engine of the Federal lawmakers .
In his inauguration speech, the Chairman of NASSLAF, Alhaji Salisu Zuru, promised to run an EXCO and Union that will not be confrontational to the management of the National Assembly at all levels but collaborative .
“As a union, we intend to run an inclusive administration . We shall ensure collaborative synergy with relevant stakeholders like the National Assembly Service Commission , National Assembly Management and the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies ( NILDS).
“History has taught us that constructive engagement achieves results, more than unnecessary grandstanding and confrontation.” he said.

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