From Adanna Nnamani, Abuja
As the battle over stamp duty collection escalates, there are indications that a clash could arise between the federal government and a union whose mandate is to collect stamp duty.
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST) have been arguing for some time over who is authorized by law to assess, collect and account for stamp duty.
However, NIPOST has been stripped of its capacity with the recent signing of the finance law by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Association of Senior Executives of Statutory and State-Owned Companies (SSASCGOC), an affiliate of the TUC, opposed the move.
Speaking to reporters in Abuja over the weekend, the TUC National Treasurer who is former SSASCGOC General Chairman Mohammad Yunusa said the Federal Government had already been taken to court over the matter.
He said: “The problem we have is one that is directly related to the federal government concerning the budget law. The finance law gave the main functions of NIPOST which is one of our branches to FIRS and we challenged the government on this very issue in court that the finance law should be annulled.
“You cannot take the statutory function of NIPOST and give it to another agency under the disguise of finance law, we cannot accept it.
“Is there any legal organization authorized to produce and sell stamps in Nigeria apart from NIPOST? This is what they are trying to do but it is not acceptable to us.
Furthermore, Yunusa revealed that his union would do everything possible to ensure that the government’s moves to privatize Nigerian communications satellites do not materialize.
According to him, the agency will disappear as soon as the government’s objective of privatizing it is achieved.
“The Federal Government is trying to interfere in the Nigerian Communications Satellites (NigComSat). Although to a large extent we have settled this matter, they have not entirely reddened their hands.
“The government is considering privatizing this organization on the pretext that it does not generate enough revenue. But we say no!
“Once you privatize this organization, especially with the insecurity in Nigeria, all kinds of bandits and insurgents will take over this place because the people you privatize to, only God knows what they would do of this company after you privatized them.
“To some extent the government listened to us, but we can still see signs that they haven’t completely taken their hands off.” He noted.