Benjamin Babine, Abuja
The Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporations and Government Owned Companies (SSASCGOC) has called on the Federal Government to convene the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST), to resolve the issue of stamp duty collection.
The union who made this demand through a statement signed by its General Secretary, Comrade Ayo Olorunfemi, said that stakeholders’ meeting should include the FIRS, NIPOST, SSASCGOC, the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy.
Olorunfemi said the union is intervening because of its responsibility to protect the interest of all senior staff in Statutory Corporations in Nigeria, which includes the FIRS and NIPOST.
He said they have previously issued a 21-day ultimatum to the Federal Government on the issue and further threatens that failure to call the stakeholders’ meeting, would result to full industrial actions.
He said: “As a responsible Union we have called on the Federal Government in the spirit of social dialogue, to convene a stakeholders meeting of FIRS, NIPOST, SSASCGOC, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy to discuss the issue of stamp as it relates to stamp duties.
“Failure to do this, the Union shall have no other option than to declare full Industrial action. A 21 day ultimatum/notice had been given to federal government already. We are calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene on this matter before it degenerate into an avoidable Industrial Relations crisis which is capable of embarrassing Nigeria in the committee of Nations.”
It also added: “SSASCGOC recognizes the power given to FIRS by the law to collect stamp duty, The power given to NIPOST by law to produce the stamp must also be recognized. That is the reason we are saying that stamp which is the major instrument to demote duties is a legal product owned by NIPOST and should be procured by FIRS to carry out the collection.”
SSASCGOC maintained that the FIRS should not usurp NIPOST’s responsibility to produce stamp, but should buy stamps from NIPOST to be used for its stamp dutpies.
“We are confident that the hardworking staff of FIRS will not be pleased if their counterpart in NIPOST becomes redundant due to the illegal removal of one of their core mandates. The Finance Act did not give power to FIRS to produce stamp,” the union stated.