TUC Threatens Massive Protests Over Cybersecurity Levy.

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The trade union congress (TUC) has threatened a massive protest that will shut down the Nigerian economy should the federal government fail to cancel the controversial cybersecurity levy recently introduced by the central bank of Nigeria.

The TUC in a statement signed by its president, Festus Osifo, on Wednesday, slammed the directive by the CBN to banks imposing a 0.5 percent cybersecurity levy on almost all electronic transactions.

Osifo wrote “We are quite disturbed that since the inception of this administration, its policies have brought pain, anguish and sorrow on Nigerians.

“A bank account holder in Nigeria today is currently charged stamp duty, transfer fee, Value Added Tax (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 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.

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

The TUC leader also slammed the national assembly for passing the law, writing; “How can such 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.

“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 N2 trillion.

“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 misery index.”

The union urged the government to focus on policies that lift people instead of imposing more levies. “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,” the statement read.

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