Heritage Reporter

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Cyber security levy,  one tax too many – Peter Obi

…Laments ‘ll push more Nigerians into poverty

 

…’ll increase hardship for poor Nigerians — SAN

 

The newly introduced cyber security levy by the President Bola Tinubu-led Federal Government, is one tax too many.

 

The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, in the 2023 general election, Peter Obi, who so stated, noted that the tax is ill conceived and designed to milk a dying economy.

In a series of tweets on his X handle, on Wednesday, the former Anambra State governor noted that instead of nurturing the economy back to health and growth, the current administration with its multiple taxation, is more interested in heaping additional burdens on Nigerians who are already under severe economic stress.

Obi said, “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.

“The imposition of a Cybersecurity Levy on bank transactions is particularly sad given that the tax is on the trading capital of businesses and not on their profit hence will further erode whatever is left of their remaining capital, after the impact of the Naira devaluation high inflation rate.

“It is inconceivable to expect the suffering citizens of Nigeria to separately fund all activities of the government.

“Policies such as this not only impoverish the citizens but make the country’s economic environment less competitive.

“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?”

In a related reaction, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Kunle Adegoke said the 0.5 percent cybersecurity levy banks will charge on electronic transfers will increase hardship for the poor Nigerians.

Adegoke stated this in an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Tuesday.

Recall that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had directed banks in the country to implement a 0.5 percent cybersecurity levy on electronic transfers.

The senior lawyer said the poor Nigerians were already complaining on certain charges on their transactions.

He said, “Why I feel the timing is not appropriate is this: the law being implemented by the CBN is the Cybercrime Act of 2015 which was recently amended in 2024 and the provision requiring that 0.5% be levied was contained in the 2015 Act.

“Now the directive by the CBN that 0.5% to be levied on every electronic transaction emanated from 2024 amendment act.

“With this position, one feels that the spectrum of society that is going to feel it much more will be the people in the lower rung of the economic ladder, whereas the rich and the elite may not feel it as much considering the amount that may be involved in the transactions to be carried out.

“The poor masses always have issues. They always complain that banks levy certain charges on their transactions.”

 

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