“Cybersecurity levy designed to milk a dying economy” — Peter Obi

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Peter Obi, the Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 general election, has expressed his opinion on the newly introduced Cybersecurity levy by the President Bola Tinubu-led Federal Government.

Obi believes that this levy is one tax too many and finds the implementation excessive and raises concerns about its impact on the public.

Peter Obi

Recall that the Central Bank of Nigeria on Monday directed banks to begin charging 0.5% cybersecurity levy on transactions.

A circular released by the apex bank said the implementation of the levy would begin two weeks from the day of its announcement.

The circular was directed to all commercial, merchant, non-interest and payment service banks.

The circular revealed that it was a follow-up on an earlier letter dated June 25, 2018 (Ref: BPS/DIR/GEN/CIR/05/008) and October 5, 2018 (Ref: BSD/DIR/GEN/LAB/11/023), in compliance with the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, Etc.) Act 2015.

Peter Obi in his reaction to this, noted that the tax is ill conceived and designed to milk a dying economy.

The former Anambra State Governor said this in a series of tweets on his X handle, on Wednesday.

According to him, 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 center?

“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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