Ndume opposes implementation of cybersecurity levy

Ali Ndume, senator representing Borno South senatorial district, has opposed the implementation of the introduced cybersecurity levy on electronic transactions.

Earlier in the month, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directed financial institutions to deduct a 0.5 percent charge on all bank transactions.

The development is the outcome of the recent amendment of the cybercrime act, which Mr Ndume supported but feigned ignorance on the part that imposed the cybersecurity levy on electronic transactions.

Appearing on Channels TV on Friday, he said more taxes should not be imposed on Nigerians without an increase in their earnings.

“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.

“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.

“What I understood by the amendment was that we have issues with cybercrime and there is a need for the government to improve the cybercrime act.”

The Senate Chief Whip pushed back accusations on lawmakers, saying they are not solely to be blamed for the development because civil society organisations and labour unions are also saddled with the responsibility of pointing out grey areas during the public hearings of bills.

“All the laws are not perfect and I take blame where I have to. Looking at the nitty-gritty would have been the responsibility of interested parties,” Mr Ndume said.

“I heard what the TUC president said. But in every law passed in the national assembly, there must be a public hearing. And that public hearing, there is a procedure where you must publicise in the radio, print. Where were they?

“Part of it is that if you get your copy, you bring your submission or you come to the public hearing and analyse. His representative is supposed to be there to look out for the interest of the people he’s talking about now.

“If I had known there is an issue where a cost would be transferred to a customer or a Nigerian, I would not agree. That is why you have the civil society organisations and the labour. It is not all about the lawmakers.”