NGO’s says Cybersecurity levy introduced to fight insecurity

NGO’s says Cybersecurity levy introduced to fight insecurity

Wednesday, May 15, 2024 10:27 am


 

 

By Maduabuchi Nmeribeh/Kano

 

Even though President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has suspended the implementation of the Cybersecurity levy, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO),Nigeria First Project (NFP), has insisted that the Cybersecurity levy was sincerely introduced by the government as part of strategies to combat insecurity.

NFP urged Nigerians to dismiss insinuations that the levy was introduced to punish Nigerian masses, insisting that the policy was constructively designed to fight insecurity and increase revenue through careful taxing of selected tele-communication, internet, digital and cyber companies.

The National Coordinator of NFP, Hamza Umar Saulawa told journalists in Kano, on Tuesday, that unscrupulous politicians changed the narratives of the good-intended Cybersecurity levy imposed on identified companies, making Nigerians erroneously believe the Cybersecurity levy was introduced for all Nigerians to pay.

Cyber criminal

Cyber criminal

According to him, imposition of the levy was part of government’s strategy of combating insecurity.

Hamza spoke during a Press Conference at NUJ Press Centre, Farm Centre, Kano.

He said: “In the face of growing cybercrimes in Nigeria with its attendant consequences on our nation,we find the ongoing hysterical vicious campaign against the Cybersecurity levy  incongruence with the desire of many patriotic Nigerians to see that our hitherto country’s  good image is restored.

“It is obvious that the conversation is being manipulated by the section of the minority vocal elites to look as if the levy is imposed to punish the masses. This is happening despite the clarification made  by the Chairman, Senate Committee on National Security and Intelligence, Senator Shehu Umar Buba. We feel that this kind of debate in which many take an extreme end is not helpful at all.

“We urge all Nigerians to objectively and without any prejudice ,examine this landmark clause -Cybersecurity Levy in its entirety . They would surely see its great prospects to our country.”

Hamza reminded Nigerians that cybercrime is not only undermining Nigeria’s economy, but also  has continued to tarnish the nation’s mage globally.

Hamza addressing journalists at NUJ Press Centre,Kano, on Tuesday

Hamza addressing journalists at NUJ Press Centre,Kano, on Tuesday

He regretted that:. “Today, innocent Nigerians all over the world are being unfairly treated with suspicion at Airports, embassies,motor parks,etc.  Indeed it is so embarrassing that whenever there is a discussion about cybercrime anywhere,the first people who come to minds ,are Nigerians.

“Many innocent Nigerians are being embarrassed, humiliated and profiled ,because of the activities of cyber criminals . Many Nigerians have lost golden opportunities, because of this terrible phenomenon.

“Also,  Innocent hardworking Nigerians have continued to lose their hard-earned fortune to cybercriminals. For instance,according to Nigerian Communication Commission, Nigeria annually loses $500 Million to cybercriminals.

“Another frightening trend is today ,many young people are  joining the illicit cybercrime venture to make fast money.Some of these youth wrongly think that going to school is a scam.”

The NFP National Coordinator further lamented that: “Now we have an opportunity to reverse this trend, unfortunately, there are some people who think imposing 0.5 per cent Levy on some companies and institutions that are listed in the second schedule of the Cybercrime Act 2024 is too much.

“But  on the other hand, they are not talking of the social and economic loses of the cybercrime Nigeria incurs.”

Hamza listed the benefits Nigeria and Nigerians could derive from Cybersecurity levy to include: “improving funding for counterterrorism and violent extremism.

“Take for instance the Section 44 (5) of the CyberCrime  Prohibition, Prevention,Etc Act 2015. It has  specifically stated that, ‘An amount  not exceeding 40 per cent of the fund may be allocated for Programs relating to combating violent extremism.”

 

 

 

 


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