By fabulous reporter
Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, has sent a letter to the House of Assembly, seeking its approval on the recovery of the backlog of stamp duties accrued to the state and payment of a five percent consultancy fee.
Abiodun, in another letter, requested the Assembly’s approval “to reconcile unauthorised debits, utilise the balance due to the State as a result of unauthorized debits.
Both letters were read on the floor of the assembly in Abeokuta, during the Tuesday plenary session.
Abiodun notified the assembly that all 36 states are exploring an out-of-court-settlement over a case filed at the Supreme Court on the refund of all monies collected as Stamp Duties to State Governments.
He said approval of the assembly is required for the deduction at source, a 5 per cent consultancy fee to be paid to AJAP Financial Services Ltd, the consultant hired by the Nigerian Governors’ Forum on the matter.
He said “Consequently at a meeting on the 30th March 2023, the governors of the 36 States under the auspices of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum resolved to explore an out-of-court settlement to enable the states access to the unremitted backlog (Extract attached).
“Subsequently, the NGF engaged the services of a consultant, Ajap Financial Services, Ltd. to broker and facilitate payment to all States.
“As a result, the approval of Mr Speaker and the Honourable Members of the House is hereby required for the deduction at source, a 5 per cent consultancy fee to be paid to the NGF consultant, Ajap financial services Ltd from the state’s share of the backlog recovered on stamp duties for the period between January 2015 to December 2022.”
On the second request, Abiodun said “I write to inform Mr Speaker and the Honourable Members of the House that the Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, through a reconciliation process has established that states of the federation were debited without recourse on proceeds from the Excess Crude Account, Petroleum Profit Tax & Royalties accounts.
“Consequently, Mr Speaker, the federal government disbursed 40 per cent of the reconciled amounts to state governments as approved by the Federal Accounts Allocation Committee leaving an unpaid refund of 60%
“At a meeting held on Thursday 30th March 2023, State governors under the auspices of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum resolved that this balance due (that is, 60 per cent of remaining reconciled amount) be used to net off State’s liabilities to the Federal Government and to deduct at source, a consultancy fee of 5% payable to the NGF consultant, Ajap financial services Ltd.”