Cybersecurity: LCCI urges withdrawal of proposed levy

…calls for more stakeholder consultations…

By Innocent Raphael

In response to the recent directive from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) imposing a 0.5 percent cybersecurity levy on electronic transactions, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has called for its withdrawal.

The levy, set to be deducted from customers’ electronic transactions by banks, has sparked concerns among stakeholders.

Dr. Chinyere Almona, FCA, the Director-General of LCCI, emphasized the need for more consultations with critical stakeholders before implementing such a directive.

She highlighted that the timing of the levy imposition is unfavorable, especially amidst ongoing challenges such as the performance crises in power supply and the recently reviewed electricity tariffs.

Almona expressed concern that the levy, imposed at a time when government revenues are reportedly high, could further burden individuals and businesses already grappling with rising costs and inflation.

She stressed the importance of ensuring that any additional costs imposed do not hinder economic activities or growth prospects.

The LCCI further raised questions about the effectiveness of the levy in guaranteeing protection against cyber-attacks, as well as potential confusion regarding exemptions and transaction qualifications.

They urged the government to consider amending relevant laws, investing in digital infrastructure, and ensuring coordination with existing tax initiatives to prevent multiple taxation and enhance cybersecurity architecture.

The organization also alleged the directive stipulating that levy remittance should go to the Office of the National Security Adviser raised concerns about whether funds would be used effectively to enhance cybersecurity in Nigeria.

The LCCI urged the government to address these concerns and foster a conducive environment for business operations in the country.

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