New Telegraph

Cyber Security Levy: FG should deploy strategy that doesn’t hurt citizens –Industrialist, others

..say levy is anti-people

As indication emerged that the controversial cyber security levy is undergoing review, opposition against its introduction has not subsided as Nigerians describe the levy as anti-people, IMF imposed and a display of lack of empathy on the citizenry by the government. Speaking, an industrialist and investment expert, Prince Chukwukadibia Moneke Jonathan said that the massive bitter reactions that trailed the suspended policy from Nigerians from various sectors and backgrounds proved that the pangs of the economic policy of the incumbent administration had dealt a heavy blow on citizens Prince Jonathan said, “I am vehemently opposed to the proposed cybersecurity tax policy of the Federal government. I have never seen or heard of the office of National Security Adviser being turned into a tax or revenue agent of the government.”

Prince Jonathan who is the Chief Executive of Anambrian Properties Ltd, with business interests in Agriculture, Estate Development and Management, as well as the Oil and Gas sectors wondered why most government officials see their offices as personal estate. He lamented that since May 29, 2023, the Tinubu administration has put in place several policies that have reduced the cash holdings and take-home pay of citizens, among which are the removal of petroleum subsidy and increase of electricity tariff. He urged the government to start investing in agriculture, sports and industrialisation so as to create massive employment opportunities for the youth, saying no economy is built through taxation.

This came as the Nigerian Internet Group, an advocacy group that promotes internet access and connectivity in Nigeria, has decried the planned introduction of the cybersecurity levy by the Central Bank of Nigeria, saying if introduced, it would impact negatively on the Nigerian economy, businesses, and consumers. President of NIG, Destiny Amana, who raised the concern in a statement, urged the Central Bank to consider alternative approaches to strengthening cybersecurity without unduly burdening the Nigerian populace.

He said: “While we recognise the importance of cybersecurity measures in safeguarding our digital infrastructure and protecting against cyber threats, we cannot ignore the potential negative impact of this levy on the Nigerian economy, businesses, and consumers.” Amama further said that the imposition of a cybersecurity levy on electronic transactions is not only burdensome but also raises questions about its necessity and effectiveness in addressing cyber threats. Similarly, Dr Uche Igwe, a Senior Political Economy Analyst and Visiting Fellow at the LSE Firoz Lalji Institute for Africa said that there is a valid case for seeking funds to fight cybercrime as Nigeria is rated fifth by the World Cybercrime Index, which spotlights the country as one of global hotspots and hub of cybercriminal activities.

However, the government, according to him, needs to deploy a more innovative strategy that does not inflict hurt on citizens. This approach could entail many things, including substantial investments in cybersecurity through deliberate programme interventions. Such programmes will enable young people to acquire the necessary skill sets that could help them get a space in cybersecurity and other related cyber-enabled jobs, Igwe said.

Read Previous

Moniepoint ranked Africa’s fastest growing financial institution by FT

Read Next

Benue Has Lot’s of Investment Opportunities In Agric Sector, Says Gov Alia