The federal government 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 heavy.
Babatunde Irukera, CEO of the FCCPC, said in a statement on Tuesday that businesses are already capturing the operational cost of their goods and services.
He stated that imposing an additional non-price, discriminatory charge on consumers depending on the payment method selected essentially amounts to a penalty for the payment method adopted.
“The problems associated with transporting excess money to avoid a penalty are countless and multifaceted,” said Irukera.
“Consequently, the Commission welcomes the final declaration of the CBN of 23 December 2019, clarifying its directive of 17 September 2019 by circular Ref. PSM / Dir / CON / 02/015 that the directive did not intend to pass these charges on to consumers.
“It is therefore inappropriate and illegal for businesses to pass on the cost of stamp duty to do their business with consumers.
“Indeed, and following on from this clarification, merchants are now prohibited from penalizing or otherwise assessing any duty, cost or assessment qualified as” stamp duty “on consumers who choose point of sale options for conclude their purchases or transactions.
“The Commission hereby provides these guidelines in accordance with article 18, paragraph 2, of the FCCPA and prohibits any such evaluation under article 18, points a), e), f) and h).
“In addition to the above provisions, these assessments may be in violation of other existing provisions and laws, including section 129 (1) (a) and (2).”
The FCCPC added that in collaboration with CBN, other regulators and law enforcement authorities, it would apply the law to the fullest and invite consumers to report violations with evidence.