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We Don’t Intend To Punish Citizens – Senate Committee Lists Those Who Are To Pay Cybersecurity Levy

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on National Security and Intelligence, Senator Shehu Umar Buba, has clarified that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) cybersecurity levy targets financial institutions rather than individuals or bank customers.

According to the Economic Confidential, the Senator who introduced the amendment bill stated that the proposed levy primarily targets financial institutions and telecom companies.

These, according to the Senator, are considered the most vulnerable sectors to financial crimes and cyber fraud in the country. This levy aims to improve cybersecurity measures and enhance national security in Nigeria.

He pointed out that the relevant section of the Cybercrime Act stipulated that businesses, not citizens, should pay the levy.

Senator Buba said, “The Act is very explicit about who is responsible for the payment, not Nigerian citizens or individuals. The relevant Section of the Cybercrime Act 2015 listed the businesses required to pay the levy: telecommunications companies, Internet Service Providers, Banks, Insurance Companies, the Nigerian Stock Exchange, and other Financial Institutions.

The organisations in the sectors have been listed in previous circulars by the Central Bank of Nigeria, especially in 2018. The new circular by the CBN further provided many exemptions.”

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Senator Buba also clearly explained the amount payable as a cybersecurity levy. “It is either 0.005 or 0.5% arithmetically. The figure in the principal act was 0.005 as a fraction, which was converted to the percentage that became 0.5% in the amendment. Therefore, the statistics in fractions and percentages are the same.”

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The lawmaker emphasised that the approval of the amendment bill resulted from collaboration among various stakeholders.

The Senator acknowledged the concerns of Nigerians, civil groups, and other stakeholders about the current economic situation.

However, he reassured them that implementing the cybersecurity law was not intended to punish citizens.

He highlighted that the levy is a joint effort to safeguard national security and the economy, with the financial burden primarily on the designated companies.

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