Stamp duty:  FG agreed to pay consultants N1.5 trn to recover N20 trn — Presidency 

The presidency has again dismissed allegations of misappropriation of stamp duty funds leveled against some government agencies by a member of the House of Representatives, Gudaji Kazaure.

A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, Tuesday said the allegations were “baseless and misleading.”

Shehu had Sunday described the claim as a figment of the imagination of Mr Kazaure, who had earlier claimed that he is the secretary of a committee set up by President Muhammadu Buhari to look into stamp duty collection issues.

In a swift reaction to Shehu’s statement, Mr Kazaure argued that Buhari secretly set up the committee and only the president could dissolve it.

In a statement Tuesday night signed by Shehu, the presidency stated that  Buhari came into office in 2015 to find that a law, which stipulated for the collection of a token on banking transactions, existed but was not  correctly implemented.

“This anomaly arose because certain characters apparently formed a cartel with collaborators in the Nigerian Postal Service, NIPOST and were allegedly collecting and pocketing this money.

“Soon after, a non-government organisation posited to the administration that the Nigerian government had lost the sum of over N20 trillion to the Nigerian Inter-bank Settlement System ((NIBSS) between 2013-2016 in this regard, adding  that the said sum could be recovered and paid back into the government coffers.

“The consultants asked to be paid a professional fee of 7.5 percent and were placed under the supervision of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF). Following the lack of progress in the promised recovery, the late Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari wrote on March 8, 2018 to the SGF conveying a presidential directive that following the lack of progress and several expressed concerns received, the activities of the consultants be discontinued,” the statement said.

In the aftermath of this dismissal, the statement said the consultants sued the government and a court of competent jurisdiction subsequently ruled in favour of the government. (Premium Times)

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