COPDEM cautions FG over incessant taxes, burden on Nigerians

The Coalition for the Protection of Democracy (COPDEM), has decried the frequency of incessant taxes and levies on Nigerians by the federal government, describing it as a burden.

President Bola Tinubu has asked the Central Bank of Nigeria to suspend the implementation of the controversial cybersecurity levy policy and ordered a review.

The CBN, it would be recalled, had directed all banks to commence charging a 0.5 per cent cybersecurity levy on all electronic transactions in the country.

The circular mandating all banks, mobile money operators, and payment service providers to implement a new cybersecurity levy was in tandem with the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) (Amendment) Act 2024.

The chairman of the group, Prince Rwang Junior, stated this while addressing newsmen at the COPDEM convention, ICONS democracy awards held in Abuja weekend.

Rwang bemoaned the hardship faced by the middle class and poor Nigerians and noted that introducing new taxes and levies at this time was not considerate.

He said: “The poor Nigerians have not eaten, their money in the bank and you are taxing them. Please pity poor people. Why must they bring the tax at this time? Does it have to be introduced at this time?

“Normally, tax should be paid out of profit. That is tax. You cannot tax anybody that has not made profit. Why are you taxing the small thing (transaction) he is passing through in the banks?

“You are bringing up cybersecurity when we have not finished facing petroleum. Let them tax the millionaires and billionaires. They will not feel it. But the woman selling egusi who has to use the POS, why do you have to tax her? For me it is crabby.”

He also urged the administration to implement policies beneficial to Nigerians and not just act busy churning out papers at the National Assembly without any action on ground.