How FG, states, FIRS, others will share N3.8tn stamp duty fund

Friday Ajagunna
Friday Ajagunna

Details of how N3.8 trillion stamp duty fund is to be shared between the federal government and the 36 states in Nigeria and others have been disclosed. The total amount to be shared among the federal government and agencies of government is a total of N3,860,867,322,987.42

Details showed that the states will get a lion share of the stamp duty money. The states would get 73 per cent of the N3.8 trillion; the federal government would get 14 per cent of the fund; the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) would get four per cent, while coordinating consultants would get a five per cent (one off) of the N3.8 trillion.

The 14 per cent share of the federal government would be on a continuous bas is any time there would be the sharing of the stamp duty fund.

The documents for the sharing of the stamp duty money made available to THISDAY read in part: “The sum of N3,860,867,322,987.42 in the custody of Party B accruing from Stamp Duty collections shall be disbursed in the following manner amongst the named entities and persons: The federal government of Nigeria – 14% continuously; the Nigeria Governors’ Forum – 73% continuously; FIRS – 4% continuously, the coordinating Consultants – 5% (one off)

“The federal government Legal Team – 2% (One off); School of Banking Honours and Others – 2% (One off).”

The Attorneys-General of the 36 states of the federation had in September 2021, had dragged the then Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami before the Supreme Court over the failure of the federal government to remit the funds generated from stamp duties into state accounts.

It was however gathered that the governors and former President Muhammadu Buhari, reached an out-of-court agreement where the former president had made a commitment to pay the governors the unremitted funds, which run into trillions of naira.

In the suit marked SC/CV/690/2021, the 36 attorneys-general had dragged the federal government to the Supreme Court and had prayed the court to determine whether or not the states have the sole authority to administer and collect stamp duties on all transactions involving individuals/persons within their respective states.

They had also asked the court to determine, “whether having regard to the provisions of Section 4(2) of the Stamp Duties Act Cap. S8 of the Laws of the Federation of Nigeria read in conjunction with the provisions of Section 163, items 58 and 59 of the Second Schedule part I and items 7 (a) and (b) of the second Schedule part II and other provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), the defendant (AGF) could claim, retain, distribute or in any other manner deal with the monies or sums collected as stamp duties on individual persons transactions within the respective states of the plaintiffs without reference to, concurrence of, input or agreement of the plaintiffs?.”

However, the matter was settled out of court and the  former president had made a commitment to pay.

But following the precarious economic situation in the country, which forced the states to depend on palliatives from the federal government to cushion the effects of the removal of petrol subsidy on the people, the governors had resolved to ask President Bola Tinubu to pay the money.

According to the source, “A lot of money,  trillions of naira is involved. Buhari’s administration had agreed that all the states would share it.

“It was almost paid before those governors left. It is just a delay because nobody can stop the payment. The authenticity of the money is not in doubt. States will eventually collect the money.

“The governors have resolved that the issue will come up in their next meeting in view of the issue of subsidy palliatives,” one of the sources close to the governors told THISDAY.

The source said due to the present economic situation and the need for palliatives to cushion the effects of the removal of subsidy, the governors were threatening to go back to the apex court for a definitive pronouncement on the stamp duty money.

The governors, the source said, were particularly disturbed that proceeds from stamp duty had been withheld by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the federal government, noting that, “this is the money every state can use especially now that the citizens are facing hard times instead of the token that the federal government is handing out to the states as palliatives.

The source said the issue would be a major agenda of the governors at their next meeting.

Another source close to the governors also confirmed to THISDAY that at the twilight of the Buhari’s administration, efforts were made by the governors for the payment of the agreed amount to no avail.

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