Stamp Duty Probe: Reps accuse GTBank, 14 others of defrauding FG

The House of Reps ad hoc committee on finance, banking and other financial institutions has accused about 15 banks of defrauding the federal government of N1.5bn being the total sum of under-remitted stamp duty funds.

In 2017, the Nigeria Senate mandated its committee on finance and banking, insurance, and other financial institutions, to investigate alleged N7 trillion non-remittance of stamp duty revenue over the last five years.

This became necessary after investigations by the ad hoc committee led by Hon. Abubakar Ahmed into the non-remittance of stamp duties revealed that none of the fifteen banks made full disclosure of their collected stamp duties and remittance.

According to members of the Ad hoc committee, the fifteen defaulting banks and their respective under-remittances include: Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (N198.3m), Diamond Bank Plc (N545.8m), Access Bank Plc (N66m), Unity Bank Plc (N40m), United Bank for Africa Plc (N81.08m) and Eco Bank (N78.5m).

Others are- Stanbic IBTC Bank (N231m), Zenith Bank Plc (N265.6m), Fidelity Bank Plc (N32.8) Standard Chartered Bank (N3.6m), Citi Bank (N1.8m), and Keystone Bank (N24.4m), Jaiz Bank (N2.4m), Skye Bank (N11.05m) and Polaris Bank (N2.90m). The committee stated that all defaulting banks will be penalised.

Recall that National Daily had reported that the Central Bank of Nigeria recovered over N35 billion from commercial banks, being part of the N20 trillion stamp duty funds that were not remitted.

The CBN‘s Acting Director of Banking Services, Mallam Abubakar Kure, disclosed this last week when he appeared before the House of Representatives Adhoc committee led by Ahmed.

“All defaulting banks must be made to pay with interests the amount they under-remitted for the period under review. While banks that had cases of delayed remittances should be penalized.”

The lawmakers noted that four of the banks summoned for investigation disregarded the committees summon. As a result, they should expect further scrutiny.

According to the committee’s report, the banks that boycotted the investigation and disregarded summon include First City Monument Bank, Wema Bank, and Suntrust Bank.

CBN to the rescue: While the investigation continues, the Ad hoc committee has called on the CBN to strengthen its supervisory activity so as to help in guiding against future fraud such as the one currently being witnessed.