*Mulls taxation of crypto curries
By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed has said that the Federal Government is worried over the hardship being inflicted on the citizens by the redesign of the Naira.
According to the Minister, the harsh realities faced by citizens due to the introduction of the new naira notes by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), is a necessary price to pay for the long-term health of the economy.
Fielding questions from State House correspondents at the 65th session of the Ministerial Briefing organized by the Presidential Communications Team at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Mrs. Ahmed said “President Mohammadu Buhari is not happy that the citizens are suffering because of the implementation of the naira redesign but was convinced that the policy will at the long run be beneficial to the economy.”
The current hardships, though temporal, are required to stifle corruption and gradually transition into a cashless economy, she said.
She said that one of the positive aspects of the policy is that a lot of money has been mopped up.
Recall that in November last year, the CBN announced that it will redesign the N200, N500, and N1000 notes of the naira.
The nation’s apex bank gave January 31, 2023, as the deadline for the populace to return all old notes to commercial banks after which they will cease to be Legal Tender.
The decision generated a lot of controversies which necessitated the meeting between President Buhari and the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele in Daura on Sunday, January 29 where the later after the meeting announced a 10-day extension from January 31 to February 10, 2023.
The new dates also include a grace period of seven days (February 10-February 17, 2023) when Nigerians could return old notes to the CBN.
Speaking in Daura on Saturday, January 28, the President had argued that the FG’s currency swap is not meant to target innocent citizens but corrupt persons and terror financiers hoarding illicit monies.
He also assured Nigerians that the government will ensure that they and their businesses will face no harm from disruptions caused to the entire supply chain arising from the currency swap.
However, the scarcity of the new naira notes has become a thing of concern to many Nigerians, who cannot lay their hands on either the new notes or the old ones.
The Federal Government will start collecting taxes from cryptocurrency transactions in Nigeria explaining that while the taxation of cryptocurrencies is provided for in the law that we’re trying to finalize the exact volumes, there’s still an assessment process that was going on which is supported by the World Bank.
“So we will know how much yield in terms of taxes, saying Nigeria consistently ranked among the top global players in cryptocurrency transactions, and we’re missing out completely from taxing those things.
“The principle of taxation is whether or not the revenues are legal or tax and the government will take the right decision.”
On what effort the ministry takes to curtail the challenges of the redesign of naira notes in the country, Mrs. Ahmed said that it will be a monetary policy decision.
She assured that the CBN was considering resolving the issue because there have been several questions being asked, adding that the monetary authorities will take that decision and present it on the board and “we’ll have to wait for their own process.