LAGOS ASSEMBLY CHARGES FINANCE MINISTRY ON STAMP DUTY FUND RECOVERY ESTIMATED AT N4.7 TRILLION.
Lagos State House of Assembly through its Committee on Finance on Wednesday has charged the Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Rabiu Olowo to ensure Lagos State recovers the Stamp Duty remittance of over twenty years estimated at N4.7trillion from the Federal Government.
Hon. Rotimi Olowo, the House Committee Chairman on Finance made the statement during a meeting at the Assembly complex to make inquiries on the remittance of approved stamp duties to the State.
In his words, Hon. Olowo expressed that ”COVID-19 has messed up the budget process as a result there is need to explore other sources in a bid to move Lagos State forward”.
The presentation to explain the Stamp Duty recovery was done by Prof. Kola Adekoya, Rector and Project Consultant of School of Banking Honours who revealed that the Central Bank had at a time granted Lagos State Fifty Naira commission on every stamp duty transaction from a thousand Naira upward.
Upon inquiry from Nigeria Inter Bank Statement (NIBS) it was discovered that Lagos State had been cheated on for four years of this agreement and shut out of the stamp duty for twenty years. Recovery however became difficult due to the Federal Government reluctance and a case against the Federal Government instituted by former Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on stamp duties.
Prof. Adekoya sought for the support of the House of Assembly to gazette the research team so as to empower them to recover the money and direct the Attorney General of the State to withdraw the case instituted by former Governor Ambode which will allow the State access the stamp duty percentage backed up by the stamp duty act.
The existing report and documents from the research was given to the Lawmakers and the Commissioner for Finance who in turn promised to digest the information provided.
According to the Commissioner for Finance ” The truth here is obvious that there is a lot of money outside uncaught by the financial net. We will come back to the House of Assembly to relate our verdict on it. Monies are been owed to Lagos State that needs to be recovered”.
Hon. Rotimi Olowo submitted that “We need every money we can lay our hands on because the monies we borrowed are being repaid with interest while our money is out there which can transform Lagos to Dubai in two years”.
Hon. Olowo added that ” increase Revenue generation to enable the state perform its duties to its citizenry is the preoccupation of the committee” He therefore directed the Commissioner for Finance to report back to the House in fifteen days”.
Also present at the meeting was Hon. Lukman Olumoh, hon. Nurudeen Solaja, hon.David Setonji, hon.Moshood Oshun, hon.Gbolahan Yishawu and hon.Ibrahim Layode.