From Aviashima Toom, Abuja

Pristine Initiative for Social Development, PRISOD, has urged President Bola Tinubu to set up a probe panel that would investigate the missing N20 trillion generated from stamp duty revenues.

A statement signed by Executive Chairman of PRISOD, Isa Badamasi, and Executive Director Communications and Strategy of PRISOD, Fola Arogundade, wondered why the matter had not been revisited since 2019.

They lamented that the money has remained unaccounted for, stating that Tinubu must begin to tackle the systemic rot hindering the country’s growth.

The Statement reads: “We write also to share our belief in your commitment to the fight against corruption and corrupt practices. We know that it is not a tea party but we appreciate you for what has been done so far. Sir, we would like to remind you of a matter that came up on the floor of the National Assembly in 2017 where it was said that 20 trillion naira of stamp duty money collected was missing.

“The Senate immediately mandated its committee on finance to look into the matter and report back to the House in two weeks’ time. Unfortunately, due to a conspiracy of silence by government agencies and other bodies mentioned in the allegation, nothing was achieved by the Committee.

“In its report, the Committee regretted that there was a lack of cooperation from the government agencies, including the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and the Nigerian Inter Bank Settlement System, NIBSS, that would help them come forth with facts and evidences to help the Committee unravel the whereabout of this humongous amount of money.

“Again in 2019, Senator Ayo Akinyelure raised the matter on the floor of the Senate and moved a motion that the matter be revived. The then Senate under Senator Ahmed Lawan again charged a probe panel to look into this matter, That again died a natural death.

“Meanwhile, N20 trillion remains unaccounted for. We believe that this matter should be revisited and a probe panel be set up by Mr. President to look into the matter and establish if there was a heist or not; and see what can be done to recover the money, or part thereof.

“We are much concerned that this might go the way of the NNPC 20 billion USD that was reported unremitted by no less a person than the sitting Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN. Shall we allow history to repeat itself? We recall the President’s statement in an address to Nigerians in France that the nation’s financial system “is in a rot”, and hope that the systemic rot will begin to be tackled by shining the light on this matter.”

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