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FG to probe banks over stamp duty collection


The Federal Government is set to probe the 22 Money Deposit Banks operating in the country to determine how much they have gathered so far since they started collecting stamp duty fees on deposits into banks accounts, investigation has shown.

Our correspondent learnt that some of the banks had not been faithful in remitting all the funds accruing from the collection to the designated Stamp Duty Account domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria.

This, it was learnt, informed the decision of the Federal Government to conduct a forensic audit on the banks to determine the actual amount that had accrued through the deduction of N50 on deposits into bank accounts with a value of N1,000 and above.

Investigation showed that the Federal Government would appoint the forensic auditors this month through a competitive bidding process to be overseen by the Nigerian Postal Service.

It was further learnt that the banks became more evasive in remitting the proceeds of the collection following the ruling of the Appeal Court in Lagos declaring the stamp duty on electronic transactions as illegal.

Consequently, NIPOST, acting on behalf of the Federal Government, decided to subject the collection to a forensic audit to determine the actual amount that the banks were supposed to remit to the government.

It was also learnt that government decided to conduct the forensic audit in order to determine what would happen to the money.

The Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission had placed an embargo on the use of the funds accruing through the stamp duty as a result of the appeal instituted by a bank to challenge the ruling of a lower court directing the banks to pay arrears of what they were supposed to have collected as stamp duty since 2004.