Cyber security levy will impoverish more Nigerians – Peter Obi

THE Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate in the 2023 general election, Peter Obi, has described the Bola Tinubu Administration’s newly introduced cyber security levy as “too many taxes aimed at milking a dying economy and impoverishing more Nigerians.”

Obi said that instead of nurturing the economy’s recovery and growth, the government, through its multiple taxes, is more interested in heaping more burdens on the people who are already suffering severe economic stress.

The Central Bank of Nigeria  (CBN) had, on Monday, May 6, directed banks and other financial institutions to implement a 0.5 per cent cybersecurity levy on electronic transfers.


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The CBN said the policy would take effect in two weeks, adding that the charges would be remitted to the National Cyber Security Fund, which would be administered by the Office of the National Security Adviser.

The analysis of the charge showed that ₦5 will be charged on every ₦1,000 transferred; ₦50 on ₦10,000; ₦500 on ₦100,000; ₦5,000 on ₦1,000,000; ₦50,000 on ₦10,000,000; and ₦500,000 on ₦100,000,000.

Commenting on his official X handle @PeterObi on Wednesday morning, Obi said that “the introduction of yet another tax, in the form of cybersecurity levy, on Nigerians who are already suffering severe economic distress is further proof that the government is more interested in milking a dying economy instead of nurturing it to recovery and growth.

“This does not only amount to multiple taxation on banking transactions, which are already subject to various other taxes including stamp duties, but negates the government’s avowed commitment to reduce the number of taxes and streamline the tax system, “he said.




     

     

    Obi noted that the imposition of a cybersecurity levy on bank transactions was particularly sad given that the tax is on the trading capital of businesses and not on their profit; hence, it will further erode whatever is left of their remaining capital after the impact of the naira devaluation and high inflation rate.

    “it is inconceivable to expect the suffering citizens of Nigeria to separately fund all government activities. Policies such as this not only impoverish the citizens but make the country’s economic environment less competitive,” he further said.

    “At a time when the government should be reducing taxes to curb inflation, the government is instead introducing new taxes. And when did the office of the NSA become a revenue-collecting centre?

    “And why should that purely national security office receive returns on a specific tax as stated in the new cybersecurity law? ”he queried.

     

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    Harrison Edeh is a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, always determined to drive advocacy for good governance through holding public officials and businesses accountable.

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