Probe missing N20trn stamp duty, group urges Tinubu

A non-governmental organisation, Pristine Initiative for Social Development (PRISOD), has called on President Bola Tinubu to probe the circumstances surrounding failure of some government agencies to remit N20 trillion accruing from stamp duty payments to the federation account.

PRISOD made the call in a letter addressed to President Tinubu in which it traced the history of the missing fund.

In a letter signed by Isa Badamosi and Fola Arogundade (chairman, and director, Communication/Strategy, respectively), the group recalled that the matter first came up on the floor of the National Assembly in 2017 where it was said N20 trillion of stamp duty money collected, was missing.

“The Senate immediately mandated its committee on finance to look into the matter and report back to the House in two weeks. Unfortunately, due to a conspiracy of silence by government agencies and other bodies mentioned in the allegation, nothing was achieved by the committee.

“In its report, the committee regretted there was a lack of cooperation from the government agencies, including the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigerian Inter Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), that would help come forth with facts and evidences to help the committee unravel the whereabouts of this money.

“Again in 2019, Ayo Akinyelure raised the matter on the floor of the Senate and moved a motion that the matter be revived. The then Senate, under Ahmed Lawan, again, charged a probe panel to look into this matter. That, again, died a natural death.

“Meanwhile, N20 trillion remains unaccounted for. We believe this matter should be revisited and a probe panel be set up by Mr. President to look into the matter and establish if there was a heist or not; and see what can be done to recover the money, or part thereof.”

PRISOD expressed concern that the missing fund might go “the way of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) $20 billion that was reported not remitted by no less a person than the sitting governor of CBN. Shall we allow history to repeat itself?”

The group recalled President Tinubu’s statement in an address to Nigerians in France “that the nation’s financial system is in a rot, and hope the systemic rot will begin to be tackled by shining the light on this matter.”

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