NLC rejects CBN’s cybersecurity levy

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By Joan Nwagwu

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has rejected the recent directive by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) of 0.5 (0.005) per cent Cybersecurity Levy on electronic transfers.

Mr Joe Ajaero, NLC President stated the NLC position in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.

Ajaero was reacting to a recent circular issued by the CBN, mandating banks and payment service operators to effect the deductions, effective in two weeks.

The CBN has said that the move, ‘ostensibly aimed at bolstering cybersecurity measures, threatens to exacerbate the financial strain already faced by the populace’.

Ajaero said the NLC vehemently condemned the directives and therefore called for immediate stoppage and reversal of the policy.

According to him, this levy, to be implemented by deduction at the transaction origination, is yet another burden on the shoulders of hardworking Nigerians.

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

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

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

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

He noted that while the CBN had exempted interbank transfers and loans transactions from the levy, the broader impact on everyday transactions would not be overlooked.

He added that such deductions directly affect the disposable income of workers and further diminish the purchasing power of the common citizen.

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The NLC president also noted that domestic manufacturers and other businesses were already shuttering as a result of the stifling socio-economic environment.

He added that, yet, instead of creating a business-friendly environment to encourage greater investments in the economy, the opposite seems to be what is being practised.

Ajaero, therefore, called on the Federal Government to reconsider the directives and prioritise policies that alleviate the financial burdens of Nigerians.

“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 masses,” he said. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Rotimi Ijikanmi

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