‘Telcos must pay 0.005% cybercrime levy’




A professional group, Information Technology Security Professionals (ITSSP), a group within the Nigerian Computer Society (NCS), has said telcos must pay the 0.005 per cent levy specified in the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act 2015 because the fund was designed to train the requisite man power to fight the scourge of cyber-criminals in the country.

Its Executive Secretary, Rogba Adeoye, said the Cybercrime Act was promulgated in 2015 and that component of it which is a fund is actually dependent on the setting up of a board and the board has been constituted since last year. “The Act states that there should be a board in place. This board is charged with the responsibility of managing the fund has probably directed the CBN or they have opened the account which must be in place before you the collection of the fund,” he said.

The Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) had threatened to hike service charges should the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) compel its members to pay the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, Etc) Act 2015, Section 44 that states in Section 44 an establishment of a National Cyber Security Fund. “In Section 44.2 (a), a Levy of 0.005 of all electronic transactions by the businesses specified in the second schedule to this Act. Schedule five categories including GSM service providers and all telecommunication companies and Internet Service Providers are to apply this charge,” according to the law.

According to him, the money is meant to develop capacity in the area of cybercrime issues, arguing that if that was the case, why would the telcos kick against it since they are not the only one that would contribute to it for development.

“We view this seriously and as an advocacy group, they don’t have the right to stand up against a law that was passed and remained only to be complied with.

“ATCON should reexamine its position on this and have a rethink that there is need to develop the infrastructure and human capacity in the area of cyber security. We are of the opinion that development necessary in cyber security will be to secure their networks too,” he said.

According to him, cash are daily lost to cyber-crooks using the infrastructure provided by the telecoms services. “The telecoms operators should not be seen as organisations not cooperating with the Federal Government in the fight against cybercrimes. Sadly, they are not cooperating because the step they are not taking the step they are expected to take. Where is the funding needed to build capacity to tackle cybercrimes going to come from if they insist they will not pay? Everybody needs protection whether you are a telecoms operator, or a private citizen. Cash sent through electronic services does not discriminate. If the necessary steps are not taken to prevent losses, people will lose their money through the cyberspace,” Adeoye said.

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