May 26, 2024

ATCIS Commends Tinubu For Directing CBN To Suspend Cybersecurity Levy

ATCIS Commends Tinubu For Directing CBN To Suspend Cybersecurity Levy

…Calls For Its Outright Cancellation

The National President of the Association of Telephones, Cable Tv & Internet Subscribers of Nigeria (ATCIS), Hon. Sina Bilesanmi has commended President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for asking the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to put on-hold the implementation of Cyber Security Levy.

Bilesanmi, who stated this at the weekend in Lagos, also urged the President to cancel the levy outrightly, saying that implementing it would affect the members of ATCIS.

The ATCIS National President further urged the presidency to review many taxes being charged by telecoms firms in order not to overburden the sector.

According to him, the CBN failed to carry stakeholders along before announcing the levy, especially members of the ATCIS, adding that they only read about it on the pages of the newspapers.

“The advocacy body believes that the CBN might have good programmes for Nigerians, but it failed in carrying necessary stakeholders along for the masses to know the benefits of implementing the Levy.

“We know that the government cannot do it alone, that’s why very soon ATCIS, the only leading telecom subscribers advocacy body, is ready for a courtesy visit to partner and collaborate with ALTON, NIMC, CBN, FIRS and other government ministries and agencies.

“The body is therefore calling for proper orientation, more enlightenment, collaboration with ATCIS and other relevant stakeholders,” he said.

It would be noted that the House of Representatives on Thursday, May 9, directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to immediately halt the implementation of the cybercrime levy introduced by the apex bank in compliance with the provisions of the cybercrime Act.

The House said that the circular by the apex bank was prone to misinterpretation by Nigerians as it negates the spirit and letters of section 44(2a) of the cybercrime Act which specify those who are expected to pay the levy.

Adopting a motion of urgent public importance moved by the Minority Leader, Kingsley Chinda (PDP, Rivers) on behalf of the entire members, the House asked the Central Bank to immediately withdraw it’s earlier circular on the implementation of the levy and issue another circular in love with the provisions of the Act.

Chinda said section 44(2a) of the cybercrime act *listed those to pay the stipulated fees as GSM and telecom companies, Internet providers, Banks and other financial institutions, insurance companies and Stocks Exchange.*

“The President is sensitive to what Nigerians feel, and he will not want to proceed with implementing a policy that adds to the burden of the people.

National President, ATCIS, Hon. Prince Sina Bilesanmi

“So, he has asked the CBN to put off that policy and ordered a review. I would have said he ordered the CBN, but that is not appropriate because the CBN is autonomous. But he has asked the CBN to hold on and review it.

“These discrepancies prompted the President to order a review.

“If you look at it, the law predates the Tinubu administration. It was enacted in 2015 and signed by Goodluck Jonathan. It is only being implemented now.

“You know he (Tinubu) was not around when the policy was made and he does not want to present his government as being insensitive. As it is now, the CBN has told banks to start charging people. So, the President is sensitive. His goal is not to tax Nigerians like that, that is not his intention. So, he has ordered a review of that law,” he said.

Bilesanmi said further that ATCIS has spent over 825 million naira till date basically on advocating for the rights of the people according to its financial report through donation from members, loans and support.

He said: “ATCIS’s influence and connection as a leading body in consumer advocacy has afforded our members employment opportunities at various firms across the country.

“With nine hundred and ninety-one (991) newspaper publications in local, international and online news media as of May 13, 2024 and presence in twenty (20) National Television and Radio stations for an Interview Program on every Wednesday of the week tagged “Advocacy Know Your Rights As Telecoms Subscribers from Network Operators and service providers” the body is well poised to executive its core purpose of consumer protection with significant progress and various reforms with a credit of three hundred and forty-one (341) successful programs and achievements for the betterment of Telephone, Cable TV and Internet Subscribers across the Nigeria to her name.”

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