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Cybersecurity levy law hurriedly passed — Ndume applauds Tinubu on suspension
By: Abara Blessing Oluchi
Mon, 13 May 2024   ||   Nigeria,

Senate Chief Whip, Ali Ndume, has applauded President Bola Tinubu for suspending the 0.5% cybercrime levy that was earlier announced by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.

He said the president’s move does not come as a surprise, describing him as a “listening, responsive, and reactive person,” who is concerned with the affairs of the citizens.

Ndume stated this while speaking in an interview with Arise Television.

Recall that the cybersecurity levy is to be deducted from all electronic bank transactions. But the policy was met with fierce criticism from Nigerians.

Speaking on the policy, Ndume said, “What the president did by calling for the suspension of the cybersecurity levy, is something I expected from him because I have known him for a very long time and I know him to be a listening, responsive and reactive person.

“So, I am not surprised that he immediately ordered that it should be suspended. Secondly, it is good that the President has acted and so we will go back to the drawing table to look at the act again.

“When this administration came on board, the first issue that needed to be addressed was the issue of cybercrime. It is part of the purpose of government as outlined in section 14(2) of our constitution that the purpose of government is to ensure the security and welfare of the citizens.

“Cybercrime is an important part of security and that is why the government was in a hurry to look at the enabling law that was signed in 2015 and then strengthen it and give more powers to the institutions charged with that responsibility to ensure efficiency and address the serious cybercrime ravaging the country and spoiling our reputation and name.”

The lawmaker, however, said the law was hurriedly passed, thereby leading to an oversight of some crucial details.

Ndume also called on Nigerians to also look at the law and come up with possible implementable suggestions that will help fight cybercrime in the country.

“But I would have to say we were in a hurry and so we were not able to look at the nitty-gritty of the issue until the CBN made that announcement. Also, they didn’t look at it very well and you can see the reaction of Nigerians was not good.

“Of course, it is expected because, looking at the situation we have found ourselves, with a lot of burden on the common man and low-income earners, it is not the intent of the government to add another burden on the poor man or Nigerians in general.

“So, I really want to commend the president for that. I also want to urge Nigerians to agree with this government that this cybercrime issue is one that its law needs to be critically upgraded.

“Also, I was looking at the law after the outcry by some Nigerians and discovered that honestly, there were some lapses here and there that needed to be addressed.

“For example, the levy should be 0.5% of the value of the electronic transaction but the law did not clearly state who is going to be responsible for it and that is why Nigerians are worried.

“Although, the CBN circular as I looked at it, section 44(2) clearly indicates the institutions or businesses that should bear the cost of the levy.

“There are and will always be issues when laws are made and that is why laws are amended from time to time. So, what I am expecting from you is to go back to the law, thank God the amendment is just six pages to critically look at it and come up with a suggestion of what is acceptable.

“The good thing is that we have all agreed that we have cybersecurity issues that are spoiling the country’s name.”


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