Written by Godfrey AKON

Nami, FIRS Chair, Clarifies Stamp Duty Payments

The Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Mohammed Nami, has said that the six percent stamp duty charge on tenancy previously announced by the agency will only apply to tenancy and lease agreements that run more than 21 years. He spoke over the weekend at a webinar with the theme Stamp Duty: The New Black Gold?’.

According to the FIRS helmsman, stamp duty payments will be graded. He explained that any tenancy and lease agreements less than seven years would carry 0.78 percent stamp duty while agreements between seven and 21 years will carry a three percent charge.

Mr. Abdullahi Ismaila Ahmad, the FIRS Director of Communications & Liaison Department, in a Press statement, quoted the FIRS Chairman as saying that Nigerians should accept the fact that the country can no longer rely solely on crude oil revenue to fund the budget, hence the need to embrace taxation as the new normal of national fiscal policy.

He listed the members of the panel for the online discussion. They included Alexander Ezenagu, an Assistant Professor of Taxation at HBKU, Qatar; Damilola Anwo-Ade, Managing Partner at Sprout Digital; Mohammed Jega, director of VoguePay; Sam Onyemelukwe, Managing Director of Trace Anglophone West Africa; Japheth Omojuwa, founder of The Alpha Reach; and Mathew Gbonjubola, FIRS director of tax policy.

According to Mr. Ismaila, “While all panelists agreed on the need for taxation to complement government’s revenue flow from natural resources, a lively debate ensued on the timing of the stamp duty campaign and the public debate surrounding the application of tax revenue in the nation building processes, especially in building public infrastructure. The panelists stressed the need for prudent management of tax revenue even as they enjoined Nigerians to embrace the fact that the tax net needs to get wider to accommodate more citizens for holistic national development.”

The new Stamp Duty policy has been hailed by many technocrats and policy wonks as a move in the right direction. “Its capable of bringing in more revenue into the National coffers. One Economist said, adding that “Nigeria can do with that at this critical time”



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