The Senate has mandated its Committee on Finance to investigate the non-remittance of over N20tn into the Federation Account by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The CBN, according to the red chamber, collected the amount as stamp duty from banks and financial institutions from 2016 till date.
The decision to probe the non-remittance of stamp duty followed the consideration of a motion on “The need to improve Internally Generated Revenue of the Federal Government of Nigeria through non-oil revenue”.
Sponsor of the motion, Senator Ayo Akinyelure, said the CBN had in January 2016 issued a circular directing all banks and financial institutions to charge stamp duty of N50 on lodgements into current accounts against revenue projections by the Federal Government of N2.5tn annually.
He noted that after the issuance of the said circular by the CBN, all deposit money banks and financial institutions complied with the N50 per eligible transaction in accordance with the provisions of the Stamp Duty Act 2004 and the Federal Government Financial Regulations 2009.
He said, “The Central Bank of Nigeria and NIBBS have technically refused to comply with the Presidential directives for the recovery of over N20tn revenue into the coffers of government.”
Akinyelure also said, “The CBN and NIBSS deliberately failed to cooperate and comply with the directives of Mr President for the realisation of over N20tn revenue due from stamp duty collected for 2013 to 2016.
Subsequently, over N5tn minimum revenue is due to be collected annually to the federation account, to be shared among states of the federation for infrastructural and economic development.”
He noted that since the implementation of the collection of stamp duty, “accountability by banks has not been transparent.”
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, said, “I engaged the Ministry of Finance and CBN for an interaction, and I discovered that what we have been expecting to be available as stamp duty is not so.
“I was under the impression that we had over N20tn somewhere. It will interest you to know that we don’t even have N1tn.”