Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF)

Governors under the auspices of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) are currently meeting in Abuja over the contentious issue of minimum wage implementation as well as the issue of stamp duties which is a subject of litigation.

The governors are meeting with Attorneys-General of 36 states of the federation as well as the Postmaster-General of the Federation, Bisi Adegbuyi, to discuss the update on recovery of stamp duties, a subject of controversy as the states claim that the amount due to states was not being remitted.

The governors had, in April, set up a three-man committee to investigate the alleged N20 trillion unremitted stamp duty funds to the Federation Account.

The committee, chaired by Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, has Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom State and Abubakar Bello of Niger State as members.

Chairman of the NGF and Zamfara State governor, Abdulaziz Yari, had told journalists that the committee had one week to submit its report.

On January 15, 2016, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) issued a circular directing banks to deduct N50 stamp duty on every N1,000 deposit made into Current Accounts.

In 2017, the Senate alleged that N20 trillion due to be paid into the Federation Account from stamp duty charges on bank transactions was withheld between 2015 and 2017.

The Senate said projections for stamp duty in 2015, 2016 and 2017 revenue frameworks of the nation’s annual budget were put at N8.713 billion, N66.138 billion and N16.96 billion, respectively.

On the minimum wage being proposed by government and labour, the governors are insisting on the staggering of the implementation of the new wage, if approved.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) is proposing a minimum wage of N65,000 for workers.

The governors are also discussing the last tranche of the Paris Club refund and the states yet to get the payment.

However, the management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that was scheduled to attend the meeting over fuel subsidy did not show up.

The NNPC management and governors had been at loggerheads over remittance, with the governors alleging that the oil corporation was remitting only a third of the funds.

Meanwhile, the governors might likely visit their colleague in Plateau State, Simon Lalong, to commiserate with him over the recent killings in the state. The date of the visit was not known as at press time.

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