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‘Banks’ continuing deductions for Stamp Duty due to no directive to stop yet’

Contrary to the explicit pronouncement of a competent court of jurisdiction stopping the deductions of Stamp Duty in favour of the Federal Government, Nigerian banks’ are yet to comply, Business Hilights Intelligence Unit (BHIU) can authoritatively report.
Some of the commercial banks spoken to on Thursday said they are still making the deductions based on the fact that banks are yet to receive any counter directive from the Federal Ministry of Finance or any of its agencies to discontinue Stamp Duty deductions.
However, the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), the umbrella body for leading corporations and manufacturing concerns have again, appealed to the federal government to stop deducting stamp duty charges from bank customers in the country in line with the ruling of a competent court of jurisdiction.
Director General of NECA, Timothy Olawale, made this request while fielding questions from reporters in Lagos, warning that “The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) should respect court judgment and stop deducting stamp duty charges from millions of bank customers.
“There is the need to respect valid judgment of the court and stop the systematic deduction from millions of Nigerians who are bank customers in the name of deduction of stamp duties charges,” he said.
According to NECA boss, “The imposition of N50 stamp duty charges started when the CBN directed that banks must deduct the sum on all transactions with a value of N1,000 and above in compliance with the Stamp Duties Act.
“It is important to explain to Nigerians that the issue of stamp duty was tested in courts and a ruling obtained in an appeal against the lower court’s judgment in the case of Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria Ltd vs Kasmal International Services Ltd & 22 Ors in CA/L/437A/2014.
He recalled that “Justice Ibrahim Saulawa and four other Justices of the Court of Appeal held that the Stamp Duties Act did not impose a duty on all money deposits in banks,” and therefore noted that the continued deduction of Stamp Duty contravenes rule of law and further presents the government as abusing court processes which remains one of the major factors discouraging investors both indigenous and foreign.