Not too many people are aware of the stamp duties and finance act passed by the National assembly and signed into law by president Muhammadu Buhari.
As a result, many are ignorant that failure to affix N50 stamp on their receipts including house rents, school fees, household items and any other transaction that is above N10,000, as stipulated by the law becomes a criminal offence and could get them a jail term.
The stamp duties act CAPS.8, LFN 2004, amended by finance act 2019 and 2020 respectively stipulates the compulsory use of adhesive stamps produced by the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) for denoting receipts, vouchers, contract agreements and other instruments in compliance with financial regulations (FR) 620 and section 46 of finance act 2020.
It states among others such transactions that should have NIPOST stamps as, receipts given in acknowledgement of payments for goods supplied or services rendered, fees drawn by normal salaries, payment vouchers for advances to purchase tricycle, motorcycles and vehicles etc.
Among the category of those exempted are; Salaries, duty pay and seniority pay, payments for goods supplied or services rendered if the amount is under N1,000, advance salary etc.
In a circular released by the accountant general of the federation, Ahmed Idris, dated 19 April, 2021 and sent to all MDAs, it charged all officials to familiarize themselves with the content of the circular and ensure strict compliance to the directive. It said failure to comply with the provisions of the extant rules would be surcharged for the value of the assessed adhesive stamp.
Recently in Calabar, Mamudu M. Dickson, who is the Calabar district postal manager, in a sensitisation workshop organized by the Nigerian Postal Service, cautioned against failure to adhere to the law. According to him, ” we now have a fully digitalized postal system in Nigeria, with a staff strength of about 12,000 and working in partnership with over 190 countries around the world. The Nigerian postal system has been futher energized by the new law which we are calling on all citizens who transacts day to day business to obey”.
According to him, “in Calabar, NIPOST has entered into agreement with Diamond Channels Services Ltd as agents to carry out the task of ensuring supervision and compliance by Cross Riverians and residents in the state”
Edet Asia, managing director of Diamond Channel Services at the workshop said the company has already set up a task force that will go around government and private offices to ensure compliance.
He advised that any institution or government, private organisation or individual who fails to adhere strictly to the new law, will be arrested by security agents and prosecution.