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Reps Direct NSA, CBN To Enlighten Nigerians On Cybercrime Levy | #cybercrime | #computerhacker


The House of Representatives has directed the Office of National Security Adviser (NSA) and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to ensure further enlightenment on the Cyber Crimes Act and implementation of the 0.5 per cent (0.005) levy and correct the wrong perception of the law’s execution.

This followed the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance, moved by the House Minority Leader, Hon. Kingsley Chinda and seven others at plenary on Wednesday.

Presenting the motion Chinda noted that on May 9 2024, the House considered a joint motion on the implementation of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition and Prevention) Act, 2015 as amended in 2024 and resolved to direct the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to withdraw the ambiguous circular of May 6, 2024.

He said in its place, the House advised that an unambiguous and unequivocal circular in line with the letters and spirit of the law be issued while the House Committees on Banking Regulations and Ancillary Institutions was directed to guide the CBN properly.

The minority Leader stated that the media space was awash with the wrong impression that the House of Representatives was against a law it passed, an impression painted the House in bad light.

He said: “Cognizant that the world is a global village and with the internet-of-things, crime is moving from meatspace (real or physical world) to cyber space without the physical limitations of boundaries.

Further cognizant that cybercrime is more devastating and can cripple a nation easier than the conventional crime in the physical space.

“Aware of the humongous cost expanded on security and the very likely limitations of funding cyber space security by the government. Further aware that some establishments carry out their businesses within the cyber space and make profits therefrom.

“Also aware that the Cybercrimes Act imposes a levy of 0.05% (0.005) on some establishments enumerated in the second schedule to the Act, that occupy the cyberspace; do business therein and make profit therefrom”.

Chinda stated that the letter and spirit of the Law as crafted by the Parliament is not only commendable but in tune with contemporary trends and supportive of the global fight against Cyber Crime.

He further noted that the levy does not apply to ordinary Nigerians but only to the establishments listed in the second schedule to the Act, which includes; GSM Service providers and all telecommunication companies; Internet Service Providers; Banks and other Financial Institutions; Insurance Companies; and Nigerian Stock Exchange.

 

“Order 20, Rule 93 (2) (b) of the House Rules provides that ‘in the event of joint oversight on issues relating to cybersecurity, the Committee on National Security and Intelligence shall work with the Committee on Digital and Information Technology. In such cases, the Committee on National Security and Intelligence shall be the lead Committee”, he added.

 

Explaining further he said: “Our role is to make Law and once there is an attempt to abuse the law that we made, it is necessary that we take a clear decision and that is what I have called on us to do today. Now, if in the course of implementation, we find out that the implementers, that is, the executive arm, are abusing it, we come back to amend it. But we can not at this stage amend by way of motion.

 

“All we are doing is to caution the executive arm. This side, the content of the law we made, in cause of execution, does not task Nigerians directly or indirectly. If we find out that there are indirect taxes, it is justified for us to come back here and amend the law and see how we can improve on what we have done.

 

“Therefore, all we are doing today is to continue to enlighten Nigerians because a lot of them are still not aware that this law does not apply to you, but those who are making profit from the cyberspace. If the people feel otherwise, it is our duty to came back and amend that portion if possible remove it”.

 

In his ruling, deputy speaker Benjamin Kalu who presided over the sitting said by that resolution, the House is standing by the law it made on Cybersecurity.

 

“We are standing in the government that is interested in ensuring that we are protected on what we can see with our physical eyes and what happens within the CyberSpace. That has shown the support that citizens of the country should not be taxed”.

 

 

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