The governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, has debunked outright, claims by some stakeholders that the CBN is withholding N89 trillion revenue accrued from stamp duty.
The CBN governor outright debunked the claim while briefing stakeholders and members of the press at the end of the 289th meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).
During the briefing, Emefiele said he would not join an argument with any persons on the issue of stamp duties except for the fact that the CBN is accountable to the general public about its finances.
So, he felt obliged to clarify because he was not interested in overheating the system.
What Emefiele is saying
The apex bank Governor stated he was surprised that the CBN was been accused of holding N89 trillion.
- “I don’t understand how the central bank can begin to withhold N89 trillion” which it clearly does not have.
To put things into context, Emefiele noted that the total asset of the Nigerian banking industry today is about N71.5 trillion with a total deposit of the banking system of about N44.498 trillion, thus he did not know how banks could have held N89 trillion in Stamp duties.
- He expressed wonderment, about how is it possible that stamp duty would be twice as much as the total deposit in the banking system.
- Emefiele noted that it was NIPOST that got a court order after a series of back and forth with stakeholders to collect stamp duty, as the collection is not backed by law to date, stressing that the issue is still in court today.
Stamp duty is the revenue collected from people who are conducting trade, as well as the cost of purchasing regular stamps.
Breakdown of Stamp duties held by banks
He said since 2016 when the CBN started collecting stamp duties, the bank had received a total of N378,686,315,505.28 (three hundred and seventy-eight billion, six hundred and eighty-six million, three hundred and fifteen thousand, five hundred and five naira, one hundred and fifty-eight kobo) to date.
- Out of the amount, the bank had disbursed N226.4 billion leaving a balance of N144.2 billion.
- Mr. Emefiele reeled out the amounts to the last kobo to emphasize the detail of the audit that they are embarked on to prove their point.
- He noted that First Bank, which is the biggest bank and biggest collector of stamp duties, has collected N71.6 billion in 7 years.