N50 POS Charge: Reason FG seeks to review policy

The Federal Government may be making moves; to revoke the decision to impose a N50 POS charge on every electronic transaction above N1,000.

This is in the aftermath of repeated public outcry against the stamp duty reform.

1st News had reported how the National Assembly received a financial bill from the executive.

This bill sought a review of the policy from the N50 currently chargeable on payments above N1,000 to be charged instead on transactions above N10,000.

However, the N50 POS Charge policy will not affect bank transfers between two accounts; belonging to the same owner when it is approved.

The bill seeks to repeal a section of the Stamp Duty Act 2014; which maintained the threshold of collections chargeable with stamp duty at N4 and above.

The Central Bank of Nigeria had announced the change in September.

Ergo, businesses had to charge duties on individual transactions; in a step the apex bank claimed would “further deepen financial inclusion and enhance the efficiency of the Nigerian payments system.”

However, the ripple effects have been felt across the economy; especially with small-and-medium-scale businesses.

Owners, compelled by the necessity to make sales; have resorted to bearing the charges themselves at the expense of customers.

Petrol stations, in particular, are recording significant fall in the Point of Sale (POS) transaction volumes.

Investigations revealed that cash transactions have dominated trade in this business; in the aftermath of a massive migration of buyers from POS channels to cash settlement since the law took effect.

By implication, petroleum marketers are more stressed these days by the need to evacuate cash from point of sales to banks; a development that clearly shows that government is fast losing the cashless policy; and financial inclusion debate.

Interestingly, reports show that only big petroleum marketers with a wide retail network; and long-established presence in the game are able to withstand this strain in some way.

Because of a larger customer base, businesses in this category can still absorb the shock of losing customers discouraged by the N50 POS charge.

The populace waits expectantly as the National Assembly moves to repeal the N50 POS Charge.

Ng daily

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