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  • News - North West - Kano
  • Updated: May 14, 2024

Support cybersecurity levy — CSOs to Nigerians

Support cybersecurity levy — CSOs to Nigerians

A coalition of Civil Society Organizations known as Nigeria First Project, NF-PRO, has called on Nigerians to endorse the Federal Government's rollout of its recently introduced cybersecurity levy.

The coalition made the call while addressing a press conference at the NUJ press centre, Kano, on Tuesday.

According to the coalition, the citizens' support for the levy was imperative given its immense benefits to the nation.

Speaking through its Coordinator, Comrade Hamza Umar Saulawa, the group highlighted benefits such as the potential for augmented funding from domestic channels for the nation's security agencies tasked with combating cybercrimes and terrorism.

"This coalition of like-minded Civil Society Organizations is in full support of the Implementation of the Cybersecurity levy, and we are calling on all patriotic Nigerians to rally round the Federal Government in its noble determination to rid our nation of any vestige of criminality, CyberCrimes and terrorism inclusive," it said.

The coalition criticized what it described as a continuing, intense, and unfounded campaign against the cybersecurity levy by certain Nigerians, despite clarifications provided on the initiative.

"In the face of growing cybercrimes in Nigeria with its attendant consequences on our nation, we find the ongoing hysterical vicious campaign against the Cybersecurity levy incongruent with the desire of many patriotic Nigerians to see that our hitherto country's good image is restored.     

"It is obvious that the conversation is being manipulated by a section of the minority vocal elites to look as if the levy is imposed to punish the masses. 

"This is happening despite the clarification made by the Chairman, the Senate Committee on National Security and Intelligence, Senator Shehu Umar Buba. We feel that this kind of debate in which many take an extreme end is not helpful at all," it said.

The coalition emphasized that Nigerians need to recognize that cybercrime not only undermines Nigeria's economy but also tarnishes its global reputation. 

"Today, innocent Nigerians all over the world are being unfairly treated with suspicion at airports, embassies, motor parks, etc. Indeed, it is so embarrassing that whenever there is a discussion about cybercrime anywhere, the first people who come to mind are Nigerians. 

"Many innocent Nigerians are being embarrassed, humiliated and profiled because of the activities of cybercriminals. Many Nigerians have lost golden opportunities because of this terrible phenomenon.

"Also, innocent hardworking Nigerians have continued to lose their hard-earned fortunes to cybercriminals. For instance, according to the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Nigeria loses $500 million to cybercriminals annually.

The group noted that we now have an opportunity to reverse this trend. 

They urged all Nigerians to examine the Cybersecurity Levy clause objectively and without prejudice, emphasizing that doing so would reveal its significant potential benefits for the country.

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