Speaker Overrules Member Calling For Suspension Of Cybersecurity Levy

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The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Abbas Tajudeen, yesterday stepped down a motion calling for the suspension of the cybersecurity levy, which has sparked widespread dissatisfaction.

Daily Trust reports that since the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directed all banks in the country to begin the deduction of 0.5% of the value of all electronic transactions from customers, Nigerians across different spectrums have rejected the levy, describing it as an additional burden on them.00:25

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During Wednesday’s plenary session, Manu Soro, a lawmaker from Bauchi State, presented the motion, expressing concerns that the levy’s introduction was ill-timed given the prevailing economic condition in Nigeria.

Soro argued that imposing new taxes or increasing existing ones amidst the ongoing economic challenges faced by Nigerians, exacerbated by the removal of fuel subsidy and the depreciation of the naira, would only add to the burden of citizens already grappling with rising living costs and food prices.

Soro called on the House to prompt the Central Bank of Nigeria to retract the circular on the cybersecurity levy and cease its implementation immediately.

He also urged the Minister of Finance to refrain from introducing new taxes or raising existing rates until the economic situation in the country improves significantly.

However, Speaker Abbas advised Soro to temporarily withdraw the motion to allow the House leadership to deliberate on the best course of action in addressing the issue.

The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has threatened a shutdown of the economy over the plan to begin implementation of the cybersecurity levy on electronic transactions.

The union urged the federal government to direct the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to withdraw its directive to financial institutions on the issue to avert the shutdown.

TUC’s president, Mr Festus Osifo, gave the warning in a statement on Wednesday.

Osifo criticised the cybersecurity levy as illogical, particularly considering the current challenges faced by Nigerians due to the high cost of living.

He said many government policies are not only exacerbating hardships for ordinary Nigerians but also leading to the closure of businesses due to an unfavourable business environment.

Osifo warned that the implementation of the cybersecurity levy could prompt individuals to hoard cash at home, reduce financial inclusion, increase poverty, and worsen the overall economic situation in the country.





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