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‘We Were In A Hurry’ – Ndume Reacts As Tinubu Suspends Cybersecurity Levy

Senate Chief Whip, Ali Ndume, has submitted that the federal government was too much in a hurry over the implementation of the cybersecurity levy.

He stated that the government failed to examine the nitty gritty of the levy before the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) rushed to publicly announce the implementation.

The Borno federal lawmaker said this on Sunday while reacting to the directive of President Bola Tinubu for the implementation of the controversial cybersecurity levy to be suspended.

News360 Info recalls the CBN had announced a 0.5 percent cybersecurity levy on electronic transactions, but President Tinubu, on Thursday, subsequently ordered the suspension of the policy for proper review.

Reacting to the suspension during an interview with Arise TV on Sunday, Ndume praised President Tinubu for listening to the complaints of the people over the policy.

The lawmaker stressed the need to tackle the issue of cybercrime which he argued was a stain on the country’s reputation but said it must be properly done and not rushed.

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He said: “It’s good that the president has now acted and we’ll go back to the drawing table to look at the Act again. When this administration came on board, the first issue that needed to be addressed was that of cybercrime. And it’s part of the purpose of government as outlined in Section 14,2 of our constitution. That the purpose of government is the security and welfare of citizens. And cybercrime is part of the security, very important one.

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So that’s why the government was in a hurry to look at the enabling law which was signed in 2015. To strengthen it, give more powers to the institutions charged with that responsibility to ensure efficiency and to address the issue of cybercrime which you know is ravaging the country and spoiling our reputation and name because of the incessant and increased cybercrime going on in Nigeria.

But I will add that we were in a hurry and so weren’t able to look at the nitty gritty of the issue until the CBN made that announcement. And also they didn’t look at it very well. And you’ll see the reactions of Nigerians was not good. Of course it is expected, looking at the situation we find ourselves. There are a lot of burdens on the common man and the low-income persons. And it’s not the intent of this government to add another burden on the middle class especially the low-income earners or Nigerians in general.”

The Senate Chief Whip called on Nigerians to support the Tinubu administration in the quest to implement critical reforms to the cybercrime laws.

“So, I still want to commend the President for that and as I said, I was expecting him to do that. But I also want to urge Nigerians to agree with this government that this cybercrime issue, the laws need to be critically upgraded,” the Senate Chief Whip added.

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