The Senate yesterday blow hot over an alleged non-remittance of over N20trillion revenue collected as stamp duties by the Nigerian banks and other financial institutions, directing its committee on finance to open up an investigation into the matter.

The non-remittance which spans between 2013 – 2016 was due to failure of the Nigerian inter-Bank settlement (NIBSS) a subsidiary of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN although the apex bank has directed the affected banks to collect the stamp duty for the federal government from 2016 to date.

The resolution of the Senate followed their quest to improve on the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) for the federal government through the non-oil revenue source, setting N5 trillion as a target, sponsored by, Senator Akinyelure Patrick Ayo (Ondo Central).

The Senate President in his declaration disclosed that, while engaging the Ministry of Finance and the CBN for some kind of interaction, he discovered that what he has been expecting as stamp duty is not available as he thought. He said he was of the impression that the government had about N20 trillion somewhere, but to his dismay there is not even N1 trillion available.

He revealed what happened was that the organisation and people whom were charged with the responsibility of collecting the stamp duty have not been doing so due to non-compliance with the electronic transaction. He said the private organisation have taken advantage of that mistake, however, from January this year when the finance bill came to effect, the stamp duty collection has appreciated. He noted that it is in their interest to monitor what collection is actually available.

According to Akinyelure, proper management and accountability of the stamp duty is capable of generating N5 trillion annually, saying if properly utilised will impact greatly in taking off our youth from the street into viable productivity.

In his statement, “It will impact greatly on many families and the general public, directly and indirectly, to reduce poverty to the barest minimum. It will stem the gale of retrenchment ravaging the various sectors of the Nigerian economy and finally enhance the meeting of deliverables on the next level agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari,”