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ATCON kicks against CBN’s 0.005% levy on electronic transactions

The Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) has kicked against a recent directive by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to all banks on the collection of 0.005 per cent levy on all electronic transactions into a National Cyber Security Fund account.

According to the association, the eventual implementation of the 0.005 per cent levy would cripple if not render useless government and private sector efforts to speed up the broadband penetration in Nigeria.
The businesses which are to be affected are as follows; GSM Service Providers and all telecommunication companies; Internet service providers; Banks and other financial institutions; Insurance companies and Nigerian stock exchange.

Speaking at a press briefing yesterday in Lagos, the National President, ATCON, Mr. Olusola Teniola said the group believes any premeditated actions that are capable of killing the telecoms industry must be eschewed by all tiers of governments as the perceived benefits of imposing this levy on aforementioned businesses have the direct capability to erase if not destroy the achievements that have been made since the telecoms sector was liberated.
“We therefore advise government review this directive as it would affect some macro-economic elements such as loss of employment and we as Industry will have to increase prices to cover the collection, processing and pass on these costs to the 150million subscribers”, he said.

Teniola explained that the association is of the opinion that formulation and implementation of policies are not properly coordinated in the sense that while some government agencies are working towards migrating all government services online some other government agencies are working towards discouraging people from making use of electronic channels via this obnoxious levy. “It should be stated for the purpose of records that government should not think that the elasticity of demand for the use of electronic channels is inelastic as this move can stop people from transacting their businesses via available electronic channels”, he stated.
Continuing, the President pointed out that ATCON has requested repeatedly to meet with Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Governor of CBN to discuss some of the issues that his members are facing with respect to sourcing for foreign exchange to purchase the needed equipment and the central bank of Nigeria has not honoured the invitation.

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