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NIPOST: Senate Moves To Bring Back Nigeria Postal Services To Life

 
The
Senate has sworn that the Nigeria Postal Services, NIPOST must be
brought to life considering the fact it was once the most vibrant means
of conventional communications.
In a motion sponsored by Senator Gilbert Nnaji (PDP),
Enugu East Senatorial district, detailing operations and development of
postal services, he sought the Senate’s repeal of the bill for its
advantages.
“A bill for an Act to repeal the Nigeria Postal
Service Act, to provide for the operations and development of postal
services, the establishment of Nigeria Postal Commission and for related
matters, 2017”, Nnaji submitted.

In his contribution, Senator Atai Aidoko (APC),
Kogi East Senatorial district expressed disappointment at the level of
decay in NIPOST. He explained that across the world, postal services was
still relevant.
The lawmaker emphasised that the reform as
envisaged would boost economic and social services in a manner that it
will also provide security data for relevant security agencies.


“Mr.
President, distinguished colleagues, it’s shameful that when you go
abroad and given a form to fill, you will be disappointed that Nigerians
don’t know what zip code is”, he noted.
While lending credence to
the bill, Senator Solomon Adeola Olamilekan said, he became more
concerned that when the Committee visited NIPOST head office, he
discovered that there was nothing left of the agency anymore.
He suggested that the Senate should do all it can to revive it.
In
his ruling, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu stressed that
NIPOST was still relevant despite the revolution of social media that
tends to take away some of its services.
He added that the reform would generate jobs for young Nigerians as well as its financial benefits, while it passed through second reading.


“I
want to congratulate Nnaji for the bill, I think that NIPOST is still
very relevant despite the advent of social media and more so that it
will generate jobs and revenues,” Ekweremadu maintained.
Meanwhile, the Federal High Court in Abuja, stopped the Nigerian Postal Services, NIPOST, from further collecting N50 on stamp duty in April.
The
court held that such revenue drive by NIPOST does not enjoy the backing
of any extant law in the country including the Stamp Duties Act 2004.
The
court Judgement followed a suit the Nigerian bottling company, NBC,
filed against NIPOST and a private firm, Kasmal International Services.

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Justice
Gabriel Kolawole who gave the verdict held that having carefully gone
through the Stamp Duties Act 2004, he could not see where NIPOST was
empowered by the law to impose stamp duty tax on the bottling company,
banks and other establishments.

According to the Judge, whereas
the Act recommended 2kobo stamp to be affixed on certain categories of
documents, NIPOST, lacked the power to arbitrarily increase the amount
to N50 without firstly securing an amendment of the Act through the
National Assembly.


“A
law is a law and has to be obeyed or implemented as it is. Section 89
of the Stamp Duties Act which recommended the use of adhesive 2 kobo
stamp on certain categories of receipts and document is the law in
force.
“The NIPOST as a defendant in this suit acted unlawfully,
illegally and ultra-vire by unilaterally increasing the 2 kobo stamp to
N50 without any backup law and under the guise that 2 kobo stamps are no
longer in circulation in Nigeria.

“Under section 89 of this Act,
the NIPOST has no power to compel the plaintiff (NBC) to affix N50 stamp
on its receipts and other documents.
“By this, NIPOST has no
business or authority in sending Kasmal International Services on an
illegal errand to compel the plaintiff on the N50 stamp duty tax”.

Consequently,
the court issued an order of injunction against the NIPOST and Kasmal
International Services, stopping them from further harassing,
embarrassing, intimidating, coercing or disrupting the business
operation of the plaintiff in the name of unlawful stamp duty tax until
the extant laws are reviewed.

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