Reps Step Down Motion For Suspension Of Cybersecurity Levy


The House of Representatives has stepped down a motion calling for the suspension of the cybersecurity levy which has elicited negative reactions from Nigerians.

Honourable Manu Soro, who moved a motion on the floor of the house on Wednesday, had explained that the levy was coming at the wrong time, considering the current living conditions of Nigerians.

The lawmaker had argued that the National Security Adviser is a political office, and has no mandate to manage accruals.

However, the Speaker, Tajudeen Abbas, urged the lawmaker to step down the motion to allow the leadership of the House to deliberate on how best to address the situation.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), had described the planned cybersecurity 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 sparked widespread criticism among Nigerians and civil society organisations.

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

He said the directive is another gang up by the ruling elite, to continue its extortion and exploitation of helpless workers and the masses.

“The Nigeria Labour Congress recognises the importance of cybersecurity in today’s digital age,” the statement reads.

“However, imposing such a levy on electronic transactions without due consideration for its implications on workers and vulnerable segments of society is unjustifiable.

“This levy stands as another tax that is too much for Nigerians, burdening them with additional financial responsibilities.

“We see this levy as another gang-up by the ruling elite to continue its extortion and exploitation of hapless and helpless workers and the masses.”

Ajaero lamented that domestic manufacturers and other businesses were already shuttering as a result of the stifling socio-economic environment.

“We urge a collaborative approach between the government, regulatory bodies, and stakeholders to develop sustainable cybersecurity measures that do not unduly burden the populace.

“We reiterate our commitment to championing the rights and welfare of Nigerian workers and the masses,” the NLC President said.

Also reacting, the former presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, said the 0.5 per cent 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 queried in a post on his X handle on Wednesday.

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