Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Governors under the aegis of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) have set up a three man committee to probe the alleged N20 trillion unremitted stamp duty revenue to the Federation Account.
The committee is chaired by Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun, and governors of Akwa Ibom, Emmanuel Udom and Niger Abubakar Bello as members.
The committee has one week to submit its report.
This was disclosed by the chairman of the NGF and Zamfara State Governor Abdulaziz Yari after a meeting of the Forum on Wednesday night in Abuja.
“Members received a briefing from the consortium of consultants pursuing the stamp duties revenue owed to states, they gave a brief on the current situation and actions what actions should be taken moving forward,” he said.
“The members agreed to set up a three-man committee to look into the matter raised, and were given a week to submit their report.”
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had through a circular issued on January 15, 2016 directed banks to deduct N50 stamp duty on deposits made into current accounts with a value of N1,000.
The Senate last year had alleged that N20 trillion due to be paid into the Federation Account from stamp duty charges on bank transactions was withheld between 2015 and 2017.
The Senate said the projection for stamp duty in the 2015, 2016 and 2017 revenue frameworks of the country’s yearly budget was put at N8.713 billion, N66.138 billion and N16.96 billion, respectively.
The CBN had declared in 2013 that stamp duty revenue from five states alone was over N160 billion.
Yari also said members received a briefing from the Minister for Trade and Investment on the status report on the opportunities at the subnational level in terms of business climate reforms as a reference resource for SMEs and the general business community.
He added that the governors had committed to reviewing the African Continental Trade Agreement and revert to the ministry for further action.
He said the governors were briefed by consortium of consultants on the harmonisation of traffic data management system in the country, adding that the governors of Jigawa, Badaru Abubakar, and Kano, Abdullahi Ganduje, were to oversee the action plan and revert to the forum.
Concerning discussions on climate, Yari said:
“Members received briefing from the National Meteorological Agency on expected rainfall within the country, highlighting timelines for various regions which is tied directly to the growing season. The members agreed to work with NIMET to scale down information to the general public.”
On the security situation in the country, Yari emphasised the global nature of the issue, adding that governors will support security and enforcement agencies with the necessary logistics.