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CBN Faults N89trn Stamp Duty Fraud Claims, Says Allegation By Reps Member Shocking

The Central Bank of Nigeria has picked holes with the claims that N89.09tn was allegedly siphoned from stamp duty charges.

The apex bank wondered how can the sum of N89trn accumulate through the payment of stamp duty when the entire assets of all banks in Nigeria is about N63trn which is far lower than the amount being claimed to have been siphoned.

The CBN Director, Corporate Communications Department, Mr Osita Nwanisobi said this during a telephone interview in response to claims by the lawmaker representing the Kazaure, Roni, Gwiwa and Yankwashi Constituency of Jigawa State, at the lower chambers.

Kazaure had while appearing on Brekete Radio alleged that the Presidential Committee on the Reconciliation and Recovery of All Stamp Duties had accused some government agencies of sabotaging the committee’s efforts.

According to Kazaure, who said he serves as the committee’s secretary, it discovered that N89.09tn had so far been realised from deductions by banks but these had not made it to the FG’s coffers.

He had alleged connivance by some critical operatives of the regime, including the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and the Protocol Department of the State House, preventing him from briefing the President Muhammadu Buhari on the findings.

But reacting Nwanisobi said on Brekete Radio that said the CBN should not be brought into a matter that has no direct link with the apex bank.

He said, “We have been hearing these allegations, but they said N89trn stamp duty accumulated. The total assets for Nigerian banks is about N63trn and someone is claiming that fifty kobo accumulated to N89trn, how possible is it?

“If there is any committee in charge, that has nothing to do with us. The committee can do their work, but it has nothing to do with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

“Our most concern is the N89trn because the total assets of all the banks in Nigeria is not up to that amount.
“The ratio of stamp duty is obedience to the law, because issues around stamp duty is obedience to the law, this is not about CBN, but obeying what the law says.

“CBN is the creation of the law, and that is why we say, CBN is an institution with statutory flavor. Our responsibility is to keep up with the law. The law states that the act on stamp duty must be obeyed, and that is what it does. We keep record of all transactions, that is why whenever we hear such allegations, we are shocked.”

The reaction by the CBN is coming three days after Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, yesterday alleged that a cartel colluded with some staff of the Nigerian Postal Service, NIPOST, to embezzle money realized from Stamp Duty.

The presidential spokesman stated this in his reaction via a statement to the challenge thrown at him by Kazaure, who alleged that N89trn collected as Stamp Duty has gone missing.

Shehu said, “To go back to the main issue though, it is now evident that the consultants and petitioners’ claims of a missing N89trn from stamp duty appears false and a figment of their malicious imaginations.
“The same set of consultants claimed in 2016 there was N20trn to be collected. It was found to be false. The entire banking sector deposit is not even up to half of N89trn.

“Indeed, if the Federal Government can find N89trn, it can pay off all its debt, both foreign and local currency and all state government debts and still have over N10trn left.

“So, the claim by these so-called consultants and the disbanded committee is totally ridiculous and a complete mockery.”

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