Software engineer hails FG over cybersecurity levy suspension

Mr Christopher Ugbebor, a software engineer, has commended the Federal Government over the suspension of the proposed cybersecurity levy, saying it showed that government was responsive to public concerns.

Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Wednesday, Ugbebor said by suspending the levy, the government had demonstrated willingness to listen to feedback from various stakeholders.

Such stakeholders, he said, included businesses, consumers, and cybersecurity experts.

‘This decision reflects an understanding of the potential impact of the levy on electronic transactions and the broader economy, particularly in terms of cost implications for businesses and individuals.

”Furthermore, the suspension of the levy underscores the government’s recognition of the need for a balanced approach to cybersecurity funding.

‘While cybersecurity is undoubtedly a critical priority, it is essential to explore alternative mechanisms for financing cybersecurity initiatives that minimise the burden on bu
sinesses and consumers,’ he said.

Ugbebor said government’s decision also sends a positive signal to the business community, demonstrating a willingness to engage in constructive dialogue and collaborate on finding effective solutions to cybersecurity challenges.

He said by suspending the levy, the government has created an opportunity for further consultation and deliberation on the most appropriate strategies for enhancing cybersecurity resilience while supporting economic growth and digital transformation.

Ugbebor said the effectiveness and implementation of cybersecurity levies and related measures vary dependent on political will, resource availability and stakeholder engagement.

He said some countries may explore alternative funding mechanisms or public-private- partnerships to support cybersecurity initiatives and address evolving cyber threats.

NAN reports that Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) withdrew its circular to banks and payment service providers to collect and remit the cybersecurity levy pr
oposed in the Cybercrime Prevention and Prohibition Amendment Act of 2024.

This was announced in a revised circular dated May 17, which was released by the CBN.

The circular was signed by Mr Chibuzor Efobi, Director of Payment Systems Management, and Mr Haruna Mustafa, Director of Financial Policy and Regulation, CBN.

The withdrawal follows the decision of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to suspend the levy as it has generated public outcry.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria