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Nipost, stamp duty, employment generation & communication minister

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With the assignment of Communication Ministry to Barrister Adebayo Shittu [above], the Nigerian Postal Service [NIPOST] could not have bargained for a better choice. The Postal industry in particular will no doubt, benefit immensely from its parent ministry as the Communication Minister will do everything possible to ensure that NIPOST is given the required attention by the government of the day. 

This writer had a rare opportunity of meeting Barr. Shittu in a location at Area 2, in Garki, as a ministerial nominee. His temperament on that occasion, spoke volumes of his organizational ability and human relation dexterity.

There is no doubt that NIPOST as government institution has limitless potential of becoming one of establishments in Nigeria that can generate enough revenue for Federal Government at this point of dwindling oil revenue. 

Before now, lack of political will on the part of successive governments in power, had been the bane of NIPOST growth and advancement. But with President Muhammadu Buhari [PMB]-led administration’s integrity and determination to take Nigeria to the promised land, as evidenced by the capable hand he  picked as minister to reposition NIPOST, there is no doubt that the issue of political will be a thing of the past.

The Stamp Duty Act that makes it mandatory that any transaction in Nigeria above One Thousand [N1, 000] Naira, attracts a Fifty [50] Naira Stamp Duty had been neglected and flouted by even government agencies and departments in the past. Structured private sector institutions, like commercial banks are the worst culprits here. 

In the past, attempts by NIPOST to ensure compliance to the Stamp Duty Act, were either frustrated by agencies that are supposed to be partners in progress of Nigeria on the flimsy excuse that a N50 additional payment will affect the fortune of their costumers adversely. 

Some even go to the ridiculous extent of demanding letter from the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice before they can comply with the Act. Reports have it that many chief executives that were connected to the powers that be, at a time, even went as far as dropping subtle threat to avoid compliance.

In the last ten years, government has lost a whopping N20 billion on none compliance with the stamp duty implementation by both the educational institutions and examination bodies in Nigeria. In the banking sector alone, government lost about N2 trillion to the same none implementation of the stamp duty act in the last four years. The story of loss in revenue by government on the same line of stamp duty, is also applicable in the Aviation sector.

 Here, about N5 billion could not be accounted for in the last four years. The Transportation sector and Port Authority are probably the worst culprits in the stamp duty implementation default. It is estimated that about N2 trillion had been lost in the last three years in this sector. These are structured areas where government can easily track and route stamp duty revenue to the treasury.

It is hoped that with the elevation of Mr. Enoch Ogun as the Acting Postmaster General of the Federation, which stakeholders in the industry have hailed as round peg in a round hole; and the pace at which he is re-positioning the Post, a very good platform appears to be on ground for the Federal Government to realize the twin goals of shoring up its revenue base and ensuring the employment of teeming Nigerian youths that are not employed through this very important stamp duty act implementation. 

Luckily for the industry, President Muhammadu Buhari [PMB] has equally appointed a round peg in a round hole into the Ministry of Communication, who is no other person than Barr. Adebayo Shittu.

What is expected of Mr. Enoch Ogun is to put forward a comprehensive blueprint of how PMB-led administration can leverage on NIPOST to generate revenue and provide the much needed employment. 

In forwarding this document to government, Ogun must painstakingly inform Barr. Adebayo Shittu of the main problem NIPOST is facing in getting compliance to the stamp duty act implementation which is ego trip and impunity being exhibited by the leadership of the agencies and institutions affected. This could be expressly solved through strong federal government directive to the institutions and agencies involved to comply with the stamp duty act or face sanctions.

There is no gainsaying the fact that Barr. Adebayo Shittu-led Ministry of Communication will catapult NIPOST to Eldorado in terms of revenue generation for government and employment of Nigerian youths in the Postal sector. With funds from the stamp duty act implementation, NIPOST will effectively reposition to efficiently play the role of employment generator, just like the United States of America’s Postal Service which is the highest agency of US government, where Americans are gainfully employed.    

“Where there is a will, there is a way”. Surely, the PMB-led administration is not lacking in will to get Nigeria to the Promised Land, Mr Ogun led-NIPOST is expected to key into PMB’s alternative to oil source of revenue and employment for the Nigerian youth mantra. 

Everything is in place for Mr. Ogun-led NIPOST to excel on these two key issues that are precious to the government. By projection, a repositioned NIPOST can generate at least, 150, 000 jobs in the next three [3] years. Failure is not an option here!

Emeka Oraetoka, an Information Management Expert & Researcher, wrote in from Garki-Abuja; e-mail: oramekllis@lycos.com, GSM: 08056031187

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