The federal government has reacted to the N50 stamp duty imposed on consumers for transactions.
The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) said it had engaged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and both agreed that the charge was counterproductive and burdensome.
Babatunde Irukera, FCCPC Chief Executive Officer, in a statement on Tuesday said businesses already capture the operating cost price of their goods and services.
He stated that to impose an additional fee on consumers that is exclusive of price and discriminates based on the selected mode of payment essentially amounts to a penalty for the adopted mode of payment.
“The problems associated with carrying excessive cash in order to avoid a penalty are myriad and multifaceted”, Irukera noted.
“Accordingly, the Commission welcomes the CBN’s definitive statement on December 23rd, 2019, clarifying its September 17, 2019 directive by Circular Ref. PSM/Dir/CON/02/015 that the directive did not intend to pass such fees to consumers.
“This makes it inappropriate and illegal for businesses to pass a stamp duty cost of doing their business to consumers.
“Effectively, and in furtherance of this clarification, merchants are now prohibited from penalising or otherwise assessing any duty, costs or assessment characterised as “stamp duty” on consumers who select point of sale options to conclude their purchases or transactions.
“The Commission hereby provides this guidance pursuant to S. 18 (2) FCCPA and prohibits any such assessments pursuant to S. 18 (a), (e), (f) and (h).
“In addition to the provisions above, such assessments may be in violation of other extant provisions and law, including S. 129 (1) (a) and (2).”
FCCPC added that in collaboration with CBN, other relevant regulators and law enforcement authorities, it would enforce the law to its fullest extent and invites consumers to report violations with evidence.