Walter Ukaegbu, Abuja
Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, has said that the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) is the agency responsible for the collection of stamp duty and not the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
Pantami, who made the clarification during a media interaction in Abuja, blamed the FIRS for initiating the discussion without involving NIPOST.
He vowed that his Ministry would not tolerate such development.
He described the scenario as one of the many injustices that the Ministry would challenge, stating that the move was that of selfish interest by the FIRS.
“The Federal Government has not agreed that the FIRS has the mandate to collect the stamp duty. I presented the matter to the President who gave his word that the responsibility is that of the NIPOST and not FIRS,” he said.
Pantami disclosed that the crisis began before his appointment as the Minister. He explained that the government would unbundle NIPOST into two commercial entities: Property and Development; Transport and Development companies, with both registered under NIPOST.
He stated that the organisation has 3,000 properties spread all over the country but lamented that most of them are dilapidated.
On broadband penetration, the minister said it has been increased by 37.8 percent, stating that it will hit 70 per cent this year.
According to him, a Presidential broadband committee has been established last December and would come out with concrete plans by February. He said the responsibility to guide and supervise the committee is that of his ministry.
The Minister added that the target of the ministry was to ensure that the penetration of broadband is enhanced in the country, particularly in areas where they are underserved.
On SIM registration, Pantami explained that presently there is no partial registration under the network.
He advised Nigerians to send telephone details to the Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) whenever a crime is committed as the commission has been directed to provide data on any information.
“Since there has been no complaint, it means directives on the issue have been complied with”, he said.
The minister also explained that selling unregistered SIMS are not wrong while what is wrong is using it without being activated, stressing that people should not acquire SIM without activation.