Mutfwang tells RMAFC to promptly resolve stamp duties controversy

Governor Caleb Mutfwang has asked the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) to resolve the contentious issue of stamp duties for the nation’s progress.

Mr Mutfwang said this when the RMAFC delegation led by the federal commissioner of Jigawa, Hauwa Aliyu, visited him in Jos.

The governor urged RMAFC to shore up efforts in resolving the contentious issue of stamp duties for the nation’s progress. He commended RMAFC on its efforts to block revenue leakages in the country.

The Plateau governor mentioned that RMAFC’s performance would justify establishing it to monitor accruals into and disbursement of revenue from the federation account as required by extant laws.

The governor also implored them to perform their constitutional duties of reviewing some of the revenue streams in the country for appropriate action.

“The commission has been able to also block some leakages and ensure that some critical revenues that are hidden are brought out into the common purse to be shared,” said Mr Mutfwang.

He added that Plateau was among the states that have adopted the Open Government Partnership to ensure transparency and accountability in its disbursement of revenue and other administrative duties.

“We (Plateau) are one of the states that have signed on to the Open Government Partnership and we believe in transparency. Therefore, we would welcome you to look into our books,” Mr Mutfwang explained. “Be rest assured that all the relevant ministries, departments and agencies have been given the necessary instructions to ensure that they cooperate and collaborate with you so that you can be able to carry out your exercise.”

Mr Mutfwang implored the commission to share useful information on revenue matters with the Plateau government to enable it to comply with laid down directives.

“We hope that we will continue to benefit from information sharing. So that we will do exactly what is due to us as a state and to find some ease in trying to ensure that those revenues accrue as at when due,” stated the governor.

Ms Aliyu said the visit to Plateau concerned its Monitoring and Recovery Exercise on Tax Liabilities owed by states, MDAS and LGAs. She said the liabilities were established against Plateau of more than ₦504 million concerning default in the payment of withholding tax, value-added tax and stamp duties agreements.

She said that the visit to the governor was to seek the cooperation of his officials in providing the necessary documents to ensure the success of the exercise.

In 2022, controversies emerged between the federal government and labour unions over who should collect stamp duty charges. The Finance Act, which former President Muhammadu Buhari signed, had given the responsibility of collecting stamp duties charges to the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, instead of the Nigeria Postal Service, NIPOST, that before now performed the function.

The alleged stripping of NIPOST of the responsibility to collect stamp duties charges did not go down well with the Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporations and Government-Owned Companies, SSASCGOC, an affiliate of the Trade Union Congress, which viewed the development as a usurpation of its statutory duty by another agency of government.

On September 3, 36 governors resolved to demand the payment of stamp duties from President Bola Tinubu’s government in line with their agreement with Buhari.

The governors argued that the trillions of naira accumulated from the payment of stamp duties would cushion the effects of petrol subsidy removal better than the “token” given to the states by the federal government as palliatives.