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Obi flays Nigerian Government, CBN over cybersecurity levy



Former Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate Peter Obi has condemned the Federal Government’s introduction of a 0.5 percent cyber-security levy on all bank transactions.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Tuesday directed banks to commence the collection and remittance of a cybersecurity levy on electronic transactions to be administered by the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA).

But the former presidential candidate described the move as a sad imposition on struggling Nigerians.

Obi argued that the Cybersecurity Levy contradicted the government’s declared intention to simplify the tax code and cut back on taxes to lessen the impact of Naira depreciation and high inflation rate on the trading capital of businesses.

In a series of tweets on his X handle, the former Anambra Governor governor faulted the move in totality, questioning when the NSA’s Office turned into a revenue-collection hub.

He 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 and high inflation rate.

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“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?”

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