At a time Nigerians are reeling from the pangs of hard biting economic recession, the federal government has raked in no less than 13 billion naira through charges on bank deposits.

According to a Punch investigation, the 13 billion naira is a total amount of stamp duty collected on deposits in bank accounts across the Deposit Money Banks in the country.

Sources close to the Central Bank of Nigeria where the fund is warehoused was quoted to have confirmed to a Punch correspondent that in the first 12 months of application of the duty (January to December 2016), the banks remitted a total of 3 billion naira into the Stamp Duty Treasury Single Account.

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However, remittances into the account have improved significantly as the account witnessed more activities in 2017 with about 10 billion naira recorded during the first seven months of the year.

Although the 10 billion naira so far collected this year through the stamp duty represents a significant improvement on the 3 billion collected in 2016, it is a far cry from the 2.5 trillion which authorities had estimated that government could generate through the deduction of 50 naira on deposits in bank accounts worth at least 1000 naira.

Peeved by low remittances into the account, the Nigerian Postal Service had between December 2016 and January 2017 advertised to hire auditors to look into banks’ books to determine the compliance level in terms of remitting the deductions from customers’ accounts.

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