The federal government said it has written letters to all the governors of 36 states of the federation to comply with the audit and recovery of stamp duty from 15th January 2016 to 30th June 2020.
Abubakar Malami, attorney general of the Federation and Minister of Justice informed that liabilities are being established, and no actual recovery has been made.
The AGF in a statement signed by Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, his special assistant on Media and Public Relations, therefore directed State ministries, departments, agencies, and regulatory institutions of the 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.
This directive according to the AGF is pursuant to the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to the statement, the recoveries are being conducted for the federal ministries, departments, agencies, and financial institutions.
The statement added that 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.
It added that 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 summary manner in the name of the Attorney General of the Federation or the State.
The statement dither added that what the AGF did was to activate those powers, conduct the audit and recovery of back years stamp duty in collaboration with stakeholders; adding that the federal government 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 the 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 AGF 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.