Cybersecurity Levy: TUC Threatens Nationwide Shutdown, Rejects Cybersecurity Levy

The TUC expressed sadness at FG's and NASS's collusion against Nigerians.

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has threatened to bring down the Nigerian economy with a nationwide walkout if the federal government does not remove the contentious cybersecurity charge that the Central Bank of Nigeria recently imposed.

READ ALSO: 16 Banking Transactions Exempted From New CBN’s Cybersecurity Levy

Festus Osifo, the president of the TUC, criticized the CBN’s order to banks to charge 0.5% of practically all electronic transactions as a cybersecurity fee in a statement released on Wednesday.

You may recall that the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) strongly objected to the tax, calling it “an additional burden on Nigerians.” Similarly, TUC attacked the National Assembly, saying that it “often colluded with within the administration to exploit the public,” instead of standing up for the interests of the Nigerian people.

“It is indeed illogical that this is coming at a time that Nigerians are grappling with a high cost of living that is imposed by the devaluation of Naira, hyper hike in the cost of Petrol, supersonic increment in the cost of electricity tariff, etc.

“We are quite disturbed that since the inception of this administration, its policies have brought pain, anguish and sorrow to Nigerians. Whereas a bank account holder in Nigeria today is currently charged stamp duty, transfer fee, VAT on transfer fee, and all forms of account maintenance levies by both government and the banks; this burden seems not to be enough as the government is poised to inflict further pain on the already battered Nigerians. So many policies of this government are not only imposing hardship on the downtrodden Nigerians but also on businesses, as some of them are shutting down because of the unfriendly business environment.

“The National Assembly that ought to be the bastion of democracy and the protector of the citizens oftentimes engages in collusion with elements within the executive to exploit the people. How can such an obnoxious law see the light of day in a truly people-oriented legislative house. This is indeed a conspiracy of the oppressors against the masses and citizens of this country and it must be resisted by all well-meaning Nigerians.”

The labour centre went on to say; “Financial analysts have done a preliminary estimate using the 2023 online transfer volume in Nigeria that fell within these categories and put the value at over 2 trillion Naira; what kind of cybercrime are we fighting with this humongous amount of money? This ugly development will further encourage people to hoard cash at home, reduce financial inclusion, increase poverty and exacerbate the misery index.

“The cost of living is at an all-time high, food inflation is biting, all contributing to the miserability of Nigerians. This act is viewed as a deliberate plot to continue to drain Nigerians of their hard-earned money and we kick against this vehemently.”

TUC further expressed disappointment that the Nigerian masses are going through excruciating hardship caused by Tinubu-led government policies, yet more policies that will worsen the situation are being introduced.

“All Nigerians are interested in right now is the urgent conclusion of discussions around the minimum wage and not a vexatious policy that is further reducing the already depleted disposable income of the masses and indirectly ridiculing the gain which the minimum wage would have brought to the people when concluded.

“We call on the federal government to give a marching order to the Central Bank of Nigeria to immediately withdraw the circular and cancel the planned levy forthwith; failure of which we will be left with no option than to mobilize all our members, stakeholders and indeed the entire masses to embark on the immediate protest that would culminate into the total shutdown of the Nigerian economy as this is one exploitation too many.”

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