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Senate calls for review of FIRS N500 billion stamp duty projection for 2021

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 The Nigerian Senate has rejected projection by the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, and the Budget Office to generate total revenue of N500 billion from Stamp Duties in 2021.

The Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, Mohammed Nami, had in his agency’s projection for 2021, informed the lawmakers that Nigeria was hoping to raise N500 billion from Stamp Duties.

The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, immediately rejected the projection, calling for a review that will enable Nigeria reduce its budget deficit.

“With the current volume of electronic transactions in the country, we should be able to achieve better than N500 billion.” he said

Senator Ayo Akinyelure (PDP Ondo Central) agreed with Lawan that the FIRS projection for Stamp Duties collection was grossly under estimated.

He said with over 300,000 daily electronic transactions, the revenue generated from Stamp Duties will be sufficient to finance 30%-40% of the budget.

Speaking, Senator Gabriel Suswam (PDP Benue Northeast) also faulted the FIRS projection, pointing out that it did not even tally with the assumptions and analysis put forward by the agency.

The introduction of Stamp Duty has come with a lot of controversy with the Nigerian Postal Service, NIPOST, making claims to it and accusing the Central Bank of Nigeria of stealing” the idea from it.

On Thursday, the FIRS told the Senate that with the passage of the Finance Act, it was the agency empowered by law to collect the revenue.

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