Cybersecurity levy: You can’t load taxes on Nigerians without increasing income, Ndume tells FG

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Senator Ali Ndume has condemned the controversial cybersecurity levy recently introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria, adding that the Federal Government cannot continue to impose levies on Nigerians without increasing their income.

The All Progressives Congress lawmaker representing Borno South Senatorial District, disclosed this on Channels Television’s Politics Today Programme on Friday.

Ndume stressed that the cybersecurity levy will increase the tax burden on Nigerians.

The senate leader said, “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.”

The lawmaker said although he was part of the senators who supported the amendment of the Cybersecurity Act, it was regrettable that he didn’t spot the 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 said the lawmakers alone should not take the blame for the Act, saying that where some things escape the notice of the lawmakers, civil society organisations and the labour unions are supposed to point out grey areas during public hearing.

On May 6, the CBN had in a circular directed all deposit money banks, mobile money operators and payment service providers to begin the deduction of the levy to be remitted to the National Cybersecurity Fund, administered by the Office of the National Security Adviser.

The proposed levy has since been greeted by condemnations, with the labour unions threatening a nationwide action should the government fail to backtrack.

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