25th June 2024

Reps Supports Cybercrime Levy On Nigerians, Rejects Distortions In Circular

Following the rejection of the Cyber Security Levy by Nigerians, the House of Representatives on Wednesday, May 15, said that it was not against the implementation of three Cybercrime Acts passed by the National Assembly, but distortion as contained in the circular issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on the implementation.

The House said the Cybercrime Act as passed by the National Assembly places the burden of paying the cybercrime levy on five companies operating in, and benefiting from cyberspace and, not the Nigerian people.

The House asked the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Office of National Security Adviser to cause further enlightenment on the Cyber Crimes Act and implementation of the 0.5% (0.005) levy.

This followed a motion of urgent public importance by the Minority Leader of the House, Kingsley Chinda who expressed concern about the narrative in the public space that the House was against the implementation of the law it passed.

He said: “On 9th May 2024, the House considered a joint motion on the implementation of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition and Prevention) Act, 2015 as amended in 2024 and resolved to direct the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to withdraw the ambiguous circular of 6th May 2024 and in its place issue an unambiguous and unequivocal circular in line with the letters and spirit of the law and directed the House Committees on Banking Regulations and Ancillary Institutions to guide the CBN properly.

“The media space was awash with the wrong impression that the House of Representatives was against a Law passed by her, which impression painted the House in bad light.

“The world is a global village and with the internet-of-things, crime is moving from meat space (real or physical world) to cyberspace without the physical limitations of boundaries.

“Cybercrime is more devastating and can cripple a nation easier than the conventional crime in the physical space with a humongous cost expanded on security and the very likely limitations of funding cyberspace security by the government.

“Some establishments carry out their businesses within the cyberspace and make profits therefrom

“The Cybercrimes Act imposes a levy of 0.05% (0.005) on some establishments enumerated in the second schedule to the Act that occupy the cyberspace; do business there in and make profit therefrom.

“The letter and spirit of the law as crafted by the Parliament are not only commendable but in tune with contemporary trends and supportive of the global fight against cybercrime.

“The levy does not apply to ordinary Nigerians but only to the establishments listed in the second schedule to the Act, including GSM Service providers and all telecommunication companies; Internet Service Providers; Banks and other Financial Institutions; Insurance Companies; and Nigerian Stock Exchange”.

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