HomeECONOMYSenator Ndume Slams Cybersecurity Levy: Calls for Income Improvement Instead

Senator Ndume Slams Cybersecurity Levy: Calls for Income Improvement Instead

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Senator Ndume Slams Cybersecurity Levy: Calls for Income Improvement Instead

 

Afor Kenneth

Senator Ali Ndume criticized the contentious cybersecurity levy, arguing that it is unjust for the government to impose additional taxes on citizens without taking steps to improve their income.

During a media interview on Friday, the lawmaker representing Borno South Senatorial District in the Senate expressed concern that the proposed cybersecurity levy would further burden Nigerians with taxes.

“You cannot be loading taxes on people when you are not increasing their income. Their source of income, you are not widening it, you are not increasing it. I am not part of those that support levying people anyhow,” Ndume said.

READ ALSO: Ndume Warns Tinubu Over Relocations Of Apex Offices To Lagos

The Cybersecurity Act was recently amended by the National Assembly which Ndume is party, but he said that while he supported the Act, it was regrettable that he didn’t spot this part that has placed a burden on Nigerians.

“The amendment to the Cybersecurity Act, I supported it but not the nitty-gritty and I am not trying to run away from any blame. We have issues with cybercrime you know that, and there is a need for the government to improve the Cybercrime Act, that is what I understand by the amendment.

“Looking at the nitty-gritty would have been the responsibility of interested parties. If I had known there is an issue where a cost would be transferred to a customer or a Nigerian I would not agree,” he said.

Ndume emphasized that lawmakers should not shoulder the blame alone for the cybersecurity levy Act, suggesting that civil society organizations and labor unions should also highlight any shortcomings during public hearings.

In a circular dated May 6, 2024, addressed to all deposit money banks, mobile money operators, and payment service providers, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) instructed the deduction of the levy to be remitted to the National Cybersecurity Fund (NCF), managed by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).

The CBN’s directive has sparked widespread criticism, with labor unions threatening nationwide action unless the government rescinds the directive.

In response, the House of Representatives has called on the CBN to withdraw the circular instructing financial institutions to implement the 0.5 percent cybersecurity levy, deeming it “ambiguous.”

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