“Taxing People Without Increasing Their Income”: Ndume Blasts Tinubu Over CBN’s Cybersecurity Levy

  • Borno Senator Ali Ndume has maintained that the Cybersecurity Levy will impoverish Nigerians following the country’s current hardship
  • According to Ndume, Bola Tinubu’s government has continued to add more burdens on Nigerians, yet “nothing is done to increase their income”
  • Meanwhile, the CBN, through its circular, disclosed that the implementation of the levy would commence in two weeks

TheTalk.NG journalist Esther Odili has over two years of experience covering political parties and movements.

The chief whip of the 10th Senate, Senator Ali Ndume, has condemned the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s newly introduced cybersecurity levy.

Borno senator rejects CBN's cybersecurity levyNdume tackles Tinubu’s government over cybersecurity levy, says it is more burdens on Nigeria.
Photo credit: Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Sen. Muhammad Ali NdumeSource: Facebook

Ndume: “Cybersecurity levy, wrong timing”

Recall that the CBN directed deposit money banks in the country to start charging 0.5% cybersecurity levy on transactions on Monday, May 6.

This was contained in a circular dated May 6, 2024, issued by the Apex Bank to all commercial, merchant, non-interest, and payment service banks, as well as mobile money operators and payment service providers.

Ndume maintained that it is wrong for President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s led federal government to continue levying citizens while doing nothing to increase their income.

The lawmaker representing Borno South Senatorial District in the Senate, who was a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Friday, said that the proposed cybersecurity levy will increase the tax burden on Nigerians.

“You cannot tax people when you are not increasing their income. Their source of income, you are not widening it, you are not increasing it. I am not part of those that support levying people anyhow,” Ndume said.

Ndume speaks on Cybersecurity Act , expresses regrets

The Cybersecurity Act was recently amended by the National Assembly which Ndume is party, but he said that while he supported the Act, it was regrettable that he didn’t spot this part that has placed a burden on Nigerians.

“I supported the amendment to the Cybersecurity Act but not the nitty-gritty, and I am not trying to run away from any blame. We have issues with cybercrime, you know that, and there is a need for the government to improve the Cybercrime Act; that is what I understand by the amendment.

“Looking at the nitty-gritty would have been the responsibility of interested parties. If I had known there is an issue where a cost would be transferred to a customer or a Nigerian I would disagree,” he said.

Ndume said the lawmakers alone should not take the blame for the Act, saying that where some things escape the notice of the lawmakers, civil society organizations and the labor unions are supposed to point out grey areas during the public hearings.

Sowore reacts to cybersecurity levy

Similarly, the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) in the 2023 election, Omoyele Sowore, accused the CBN of using the newly amended Cybercrimes Prohibition Act of 2015 to rob Nigerians.

Sowore stated this while reacting to the new CBN directive for commercial banks to impose a 0.5% cybersecurity levy on all transactions.

He added that just like the CBN, the Nigeria Police Force is using the old Cybercrimes Prohibition Act as a tool to cage journalists in the country.

Source: TheTalk.NG

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