Some women groups have called for further review of the N50 stamp duty charges on electronic payment recently introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The women groups made the call on Tuesday at a news conference organised by Women’s Research and Documentation Centre (WORDOC), Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan.
According to them, the N50 stamp duty charges, if reviewed, will aid the plight of women who are into small scale businesses.
The group also noted that the policy had a major effect on women and by extension, the entire family.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the stamp duty charges on electronic payments in the country have been reviewed by the Federal Government on Nov. 28.
According to the Financial Bill currently before the National Assembly, the N50 charge will be imposed on transactions above N10,000 as against payment above N1,000 that had taken effect across the country in September.
The bill, however, exempts bank transfers between two accounts owned by the same person or organisation.
The Coordinator of WORDOC, Dr Sharon Omotosho, said that the centre, in collaboration with women-focused organisations, was asking the government to review the N50 stamp duty charges on only transactions from N50,000.
Omotosho said: “We hereby petition and question the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the ripple effects of the N50 Point of Sale (PoS) stamp duty charge on women entrepreneurs.
“The Federal Government should withdraw the instruction with immediate effect, pending when the issue will be resolved.
“In the spirit of democracy, we seek government’s accountability and transparency on the hitherto deducted N50 stamp duty which would have accrued to millions since the policy took effect.”
She noted that the implementation of N50 stamp duty charges had been triggering a move from grocery stores and supermarkets to the local cash markets.
The coordinator further said that the hitherto successful cashless policy in Nigeria was gradually degenerating, as people now carry cash in deference to the stamp duty.
In her remarks, Mrs Deborah Collins, Chairperson, International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Oyo State chapter, said that the body also condemned the charges.
Collins said: “FIDA stands for the promotion of women’s rights. FIDA Nigeria, as represented by FIDA Oyo State, condemns N50 PoS stamp duty.
“Government should review it and help women achieve self-reliance and be economically wise.”
Akande Ahmed, a Paga Agent, said that the effect of the stamp duty on his business was affecting the interests accrued to him on every transaction.
“Youths are the ones in this business and the stamp duty is making many people run away from the business.
“Government should please reduce the stamp duty so that we can have enough profit to meet our daily needs,” he said.
Also speaking, the representative of the Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria, Mrs Mariam Zakariya, said that the policy had affected the livelihoods of an average Nigerian.
According to her, the government should do something immediately to address the hardship experience of the masses.
Also at the conference were Mrs Oyenike Adeleke, Coordinator, Ibadan Entrepreneurs Network, Alhaja Surura Oyero, Chairperson, Nigerian Women Trust Fund and Mrs Jadesola Ajibola, Chairperson, Nigerian Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ).