Nigerians may soon begin to pay higher tariffs on calls and data as the
telecommunications companies in the country brace up for a new cyber
security levy to be implemented by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
is coming on the heels of a directive from the CBN to all banks on the
collection of 0.005 per cent levy on all electronic transactions into a
National Cyber Security Fund.
Read also: Breaking News: Live Video of IPOB and Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo In Awka
Section 44 of the Cybercrime
Prohibition and Prevention Act 2015, which the CBN seeks to implement,
states that “there shall be paid and credited into the Fund established
under subsection (1) of this section and domiciled in the Central Bank
of Nigeria: a levy of 0.005 per cent of all electronic transactions by
the businesses specified in the second schedule to this Act.”
affected by this charge include GSM service providers – MTN, Glo,
Airtel, 9Mobile etc. and all telecommunication companies; Internet
service providers; banks and other financial institutions; insurance
companies and Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
However, speaking at
a press conference in Lagos yesterday, the President of the Association
of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Mr. Olusola
Teniola, said the implementation of the levy is ill-timed, considering
the fact that the telecom operators are currently battling with multiple
taxation, which has risen from 26 in 2015 to 38 under the current
Read also: Linda Ikeji Speaks On Her Pregnancy: My Greatest Dream Has Finally Been Realised
“At this point, if the CBN decides to go ahead
with the implementation, we will have no choice but to pass the cost to
the subscribers. Nigerians should be ready to pay more for calls and
data subscriptions,” he said.
Teniola added that with the additional burden, the operators might also consider downsizing their staff strength to stay afloat.
which is a professional, non-profit, non-political umbrella
organization of telecommunications companies of Nigeria, said all its
members have concluded that the only way to survive with the new levy is
to increase tariff across board.
“The eventual implementation
of this levy of 0.005 per cent would cripple, if not render useless
government and private sector efforts to speed up the broadband
penetration in Nigeria and our association has a mandate to protect the
investment in the telecom industry from undue pressure from the
government in the form of yet additional burden on our members that are
already overtaxed by all tiers of governments,” the ATCON President