When Did Office Of National Security Adviser Become Revenue Collector? – Peter Obi Queries Tinubu Over CBN Cyber Security Levy

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Obi said the taxes the current administration of Tinubu had imposed on Nigerians are too many and aimed at milking a dying economy.

The presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 general elections, Peter Obi, has decried the newly introduced Cyber security Levy by the President Bola Tinubu-led Nigerian government.

Obi said the taxes the current administration of Tinubu had imposed on Nigerians are too many and aimed at milking a dying economy.

SaharaReporters reported on May 7, that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed deposit money banks in the country to start charging 0.5% cybersecurity levy on transactions.

The apex bank gave the directive in a circular dated May 6, 2024 addressed to all commercial, merchant, non-interest and payment service banks as well as mobile money operators and payment service providers.

“Following the enactment of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) (amendment) Act 2024 and pursuant to the provision of Section 44 (2) (a) of the Act, ‘a levy of 0.5% (0.005) equivalent to a half percent of all electronic transactions value by the business specified in the Second Schedule of the Act’, is to be remitted to the National Cybersecurity Fund (NCF), which shall be administered by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA),” the circular partly read.

CBN, however, noted that the implementation of the levy would start two weeks from the date of the circular.

“The levy shall be applied at the point of electronic transfer origination, then deducted and remitted by the financial institution. The deducted amount shall be reflected in the customer’s account with the narration, ‘Cybersecurity Levy’.

However, reacting to the new tax imposition on Nigerians, on his official X (formerly Twitter) the former Anambra State Governor, said instead of nurturing the recovery and growth of the economy, the government by its multiple taxation is more interested in heaping more burden on the people who are already suffering severe economic stress.

Obi 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.

“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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