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Cybersecurity levy: Tinubu gov’t interested in milking a dying economy –Peter Obi

The presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 general elections, Mr Peter Obi, has berated the President Bola Tinubu-led government for the…

The presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 general elections, Mr Peter Obi, has berated the President Bola Tinubu-led government for the imposition of the cybersecurity levy on Nigerians.

He said on Wednesday in a series of posts on his X handle that the government was only interested in milking a dying economy instead of nurturing it to recovery and growth.

There have been widespread condemnations of 0.5 percentage levy on bank transactions by customers, with few exceptions, to be managed by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) as enshrined in the Cybersecurity Act.

Obi, however, accused the government of coming up with policies that not only impoverished the citizens but also made the country’s economic environment less competitive.

He also wondered when the ONSA became a revenue collecting centre.

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 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.

“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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