From Benjamin Babine, Abuja
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami has announced that the right to produce stamp and collect stamp duty charges has fully been returned to the Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST).
The Minister made this disclosure on Thursday at the launch of Nigeria’s 60th Independence Anniversary Commemorative Postage Stamps held at the Digital Economy Complex, Mbora, Abuja.
The development brought to an end more than three years of controversy over the ownership of stamp duty collections in the country between NIPOST and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
Pantami commended President Muhammadu Buhari, the leadership of the National Assembly, and the Senate and House Committees on Communications and Digital Economy for their interventions on the matter.
He went on to praise the management of NIPOST saying it was heartwarming that critical stakeholders ensured that justice was done on the issue.
The Minister said: “Our efforts regarding the issue of stamp duty collection with other government Institutions have yielded positive results. NIPOST has been recognised as a government agency with statutory and historical authority to be the producer of stamps and recognised for collection of stamp duties for validation of financial transactions in the country.
“We appreciate Mr. President for listening to our complaints, and we extend our gratitude to him and the Senate and House Committees for their intervention in ensuring that justice was done.”
The Minister explained that the challenges of regulation; policy and financing which have confronted NIPOST over the years are being addressed to help the agency in generating revenue for the Federal Government.
He revealed plans to unbundle NIPOST into three companies to help boost its operations. He also said efforts are on the way for the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to approve the renovation and rehabilitation of all it’s offices.
Also speaking, the Chairman of NIPOST board, Hajiya Maimuna Abubakar said NIPOST by presentation of the anniversary stamps has again shown that it would continue to play its roles in advancing the rich culture and historical heritage of the country.
“The Postal Industry from time immemorial has fostered the use of postage stamp as a veritable medium for nurturing of culture.
Nigeria as a country is amply blessed with historical evidence of great works of arts, cultural monuments and features that help in the transmission of cultural heritage from one generation to another.
“Many of such have been reflected on Nigerian postal stamps, most especially in colonial and post-colonial Nigeria. A strong Nigeria must be a cultural Nigeria and NIPOST has a role to play in advancing this by marking events such as this one,” she said.