‘Govt More Interested In Milking Dying Economy,’ Obi Slams Cybersecurity Levy

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Former presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, has criticised the Federal Government over the introduction of the 0.5 percent cyber security levy.

Obi’s reaction comes after the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), described the planned cyber security levy introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on all electronic transactions as another burden on Nigerians.

According to a circular issued to various financial institutions, including commercial, merchant, non-interest, and payment service banks, the apex bank indicated that the levy would come into effect in two weeks from May 6.

The levy’s introduction has since sparked widespread criticism among Nigerians and civil society organizations, with the NLC calling for its reversal.

Rejecting the policy, the NLC President, Joe Ajaero, had said such deductions directly affect the disposable income of workers, and further diminish the purchasing power of the common citizens.

In a post on his X account on Wednesday, Obi described the levy as yet another form of tax on the suffering masses.

He wrote, “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.

“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.

“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.

Obi concluded that the levy came 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?” he added.

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