…… as Pantami Laments Plight of NIPOST over Stamp Duty Collection
In its effort to adequately tackle cybercrime and cyberattack in Nigeria, the Federal government has upgraded facilities at the Computer Emergency Response and Readiness Team Centre under the supervision of the National Information and Technology Development Agency (NITDA).
The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami told the Economic Confidential in an interview that apart from the upgrade, massive awareness creation about a potential threat is a major key to curb potential cyber-attack.
He said: “If you want to reduce the gravity of cybersecurity threats, create awareness. Let the people controlling emergency centres know what they should do at every point in time, especially online.
“When there is any potential attack in our banks, and other financial institutions, or an attempt by cybercriminal to penetrate our data centre in the country or attempts to compromise the website of a very important institution, our newly upgraded Centre monitors such potential attacks 24/7. In some cases, we block the attack completely; in some cases, we notify the potential institutions to be attacked, and we give them professional guidance on how to curb the attack.”
The Minister expressed concern over the usurpation of the constitutional right of the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) to collect fees for stamp duties.
Pantami, told the Economic Confidential that he intervened immediately after the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and NIPOST’s inter-agency face-off came to the public domain, over stamp duties collection.
He said: “In my interventions, I wrote and discussed with the Minister of Finance, who supervises FIRS, and I pointed out the wrong that was done to NIPOST. I contacted the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) to give his legal opinion on the matter. I also reported the issue to the President with relevant documents.
“I am aware that NIPOST initiated the bill of stamp duty. The staff did everything to the National Assembly and defended the bill to the extent that the minister of Finance officially endorsed that NIPOST was to collect stamp duty. When the bill was in the process of being approved, NIPOST started collecting stamp duty. And they collected over N50 billion naira in their account in CBN.
“A day before the final decision on the bill at the National Assembly, something strange happened without the knowledge of the Minister. NIPOST’s name was substituted with another institution, and the following day, a decision was taken. I am not worried about some institutions collecting money, it is just that I cannot tolerate injustice.
“NIPOST, with a staff capacity of over 12, 000 in Nigeria, they don’t get even 1 kobo from the federal government for any capital project. As it is today, the FG doesn’t provide even one naira for NIPOST for any capital project. That is why all their offices are dilapidated. They don’t get any intervention for any capital project. And after they came up with the process of digitalizing their activity, some people decided to take the joy away from them,” he concluded.