CITN lauds NIPOST Bill, seeks thorough legislative work

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According to CITN, the bill, when passed, stands the benefit of facilitating an adjusted Public Postal Service capable of embracing transformational strategies and reinventing itself in operational approach and conduct.

The Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) has described a pending legislative bill- Nigerian Postal Bill 2016, as a welcome development, especially with its proposals that give less government ownership structure.

According to the tax institute, the bill, when passed, stands the benefit of facilitating an adjusted Public Postal Service capable of embracing transformational strategies and reinventing itself in operational approach and conduct.

The bill contains comprehensive provisions relating to the development and regulation of postal services and related matters, intended to repeal the Nigerian Postal Service Act, Cap. N127, LFN, 2004, if enacted.

It seeks to restructure the Nigerian Postal Service to a body corporate under the Companies and Allied Matters Act, with its own seal and perpetual succession and perform reserved activities post-enactment, as a Public Operator, among others.

But the Assistant Director, Corporate Services and Marketing Department, Mrs. Oso Afolake Olawumi, in a statement to The Guardian, said the thrust of the institute’s intervention stems from its desire to ensure the consistency of this bill with extant Acts- the Federal Inland Revenue Service (Establishment) Act and the Stamp Duties Act in particular.

According to her, the institute is particularly drawn to Sections 91 (c) and (g) of the Nigerian Postal Bill and its implications for Sections 3, 4, 5 and 89 of the Stamp Duties Act and its administration.

CITN therefore, is calling for an enactment that takes the totality of the implications of the bill on other Acts into consideration, noting that while conferring powers on NIPOST may be a convenient arrangement for Federally collectible duties, this may place an administrative inconvenience on States since they are legally incapable of establishing postal agencies independent of that of the Federal Government.

“In deference to the powers of the Federal Government to legislate on Stamp Duties, the powers of administration conferred by the principal Act appear clear when read with Part II of the Concurrent List of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), but it is obfuscated for practical purposes for revenue administration among the tiers of government.

“The Stamp Duties Act (SDA) at Section 5 speaks of the use of postage stamp, issued by the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST), as the evidentiary stamp used for the validity of imposition of the duty, where adhesive stamps are not available without prejudice to the entities involved i.e. corporate or individual.

“This is even as Section 4(2) of the SDA, grants State governments the powers to collect revenues from Stamp Duty and equally grants them defined apparatus for administering any duties accruable to them. What is more, States have Boards of Internal Revenue so do the Federal Government through the Federal Inland Revenue Service”

“The States, therefore, should be able to exercise their rights, fully, to establish their counterpart Stamp Duty offices and use the apparatus available to issue adhesive and appropriated stamps and collect revenue thereof from Stamped instruments, as contemplated under the 1999 Constitution,” the statement said.

Source: G Business

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