The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN has written letters to all the Governors of 36 states of the Federation for the purpose of compliance with audit and recovery of back years of stamp duty from 15th January, 2016 to 30th June, 2020.
This was disclosed in a statement issued by Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice on Wednesday 15th September, 2021 in Abuja.
“Pursuant to Mr. President’s approval and directives, I also wish to request Your Excellency to direct the State Ministries, Departments, Agencies, and Regulatory Institutions of Financial Sector to engage and grant access to the appointed Recovery Agents for the purpose of the Audit and Recovery of Stamp Duty to ensure that all established liabilities are remitted as appropriate,” the letter reads in part.
The recoveries are being conducted for the Federal Ministries, Departments, Agencies and Financial Institutions. At this stage liabilities are being established, and no actual recovery has been made.
According to the statement Section 111 of the Stamp Duty Act granted the Attorney General of the Federation an exclusive power to recover any outstanding payment or remittances related to stamp duty.
The letters were written pursuant to the provision of Section 111 of the Stamp Duty Act which provides that “all duties, fines, penalties and debts due to the Government of the Federation imposed by this Act shall be recoverable in a summarily manner in the name of the Attorney General of the Federation or the State”.
Gwandu said what the Attorney General of the Federation did was to activate those powers, conduct the audit and recovery of back years stamp duty in collaboration with stakeholders.
He said the Federal Government of Nigeria has set up an Inter-Ministerial Committee on Audit and Recovery of Back years Stamp Duties from 15th January, 2016 to 30th June, 2020.
Members of the committee were drawn from Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice in collaboration with relevant Agencies including the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, Ministry of Finance, Central Bank of Nigeria, Revenue Mobilization and Fiscal Allocation Commission, among others.
The Statement said in view of the need to provide a comprehensive overview of the process and to proper understanding the task, the Attorney General of the Federation organized a meeting with Attorneys General of States for they have similar powers with respect of stamp duty of Ministries, Departments, Agencies and Financial Institutions in their respective states.