N50 stamp duty: Banks differ in compliance


There are indications that some Deposit Money Banks (DMB) have start enforcement of the stamp duties law on financial transactions, while a few others are yet to perfect the opening of “NIPOST stamp duties account.”
Bankers who spoke to Nigerian Tribune in Lagos on Wednesday said they have long been charging stamp duties on any instruction coming from customers for any transaction. But while some said they have started enforcement, others said they are at present waiting for further instruction on new methods and which accounts to pay in the charges when they are deducted for government.
The bankers confirmed that before now, any request initiated by a customer which includes:  bank statement, account opening documentation, forms (M and A) for import, counter cheques (cheques given to customers whose original cheques are exhausted ) and other transactions on hard copy attracted stamp duty.
A top banking official who spoke on condition of anonymity explained that there is nothing so different from this and extant charges on current and corporate accounts. He added that the charges would be on N50 per transaction, whether it is N1,000 or N1million.
His words:
“I think the emphasis here is on current account and those who operate such accounts are accustomed with such deductions. The only difference here is that there will be increase in the charges when N50 is added.
“Also, the deduction is on the person or organization that receives money ( payee)and not savers. I think the government is only devising ways to keep going in the face of dwindling oil revenue,” the banking source said.
Meanwhile, there is growing concern, especially amongst most customers, that the money generated from this Stamp Duty will not be put to judicious use and that just as the CBN has just instructed the banks to stop charging Commission on Turnover (COT), the federal government just came up with stamp duty.
The reason for these concerns as most of them said, is that Nigeria has been plagued by corruption in recent years.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) sent a circular to commercial lenders in which it told them to immediately start charging N50  on deposits of N1,000 and above, or for electronic transfers conducted by customers.
It said that payments or transfers in the same name, in the same bank or to an associated bank, would not be liable to stamp duties payment, while “any form of withdrawals/transfers from savings accounts” will not also be charged.