From Kemi Yesufu, Abuja
Post Master General of Nigeria, Adebisi Adegbuyi, has described the laws governing the Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST) and the regulation of stamp duties charges as outdated.
Adegbuyi, who spoke at a public hearing on a bill seeking to repeal the NIPOST Act by re-enacting the Nigerian Postal Commission Act and another seeking amendment to the Stamp Duties Act, organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Telecommunications yesterday, stressed that the laws governing stamp duties charges and the postal service must be updated to meet up with expectations of public and private enterprises.
On the Stamp Duties Act, the Post Master General expressed hope that the amendment of the extant law will resolve questions on if the use of adhesive postage or electronic stamp to denote a document or receipt or registrable instrument equals to the payment of stamp duty tax.
Speaking on the amendments to the NIPOST Act, Adegbuyi said electronic payment options such as online portals and the POS machine have been captured as receiving mediums whose electronically generated receipts are to be denoted, and that graded financial penalties have been introduced for a first offender, a second offender, a third and subsequent offender.
This was as a representative of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Johnson Akinwunmi, said the apex bank was in full support of the bills.
Akinwunmi, CBN’s Director of Legal Services, however, cautioned that electronic payment platform users should be protected from multiple taxation, saying it may work against the apex bank’s cashless policy.
Earlier in his welcome address, Chairman of the Committee on Telecommunications, Saheed Fijabi, explained that the two bills being considered have been drafted “to enable NIPOST to measure up with the advanced postal administration in the deployment of its infrastructure and human resources, as well as attainment of financial autonomy to meet international best practices.”