In what may seem like a late move, the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) is rejecting the implementation of section 44 of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, ETC) Act of 2015 (PDF).
Section 44 of the act highlights the establishment of the National Cyber Security Fund which is to be funded by 0.005% levy charged on all electronic transactions and to be domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
According to The Nation, ATCON National President, Olusola Teniola revealed that the apex bank has notified the association to be ready for the collection of the 0.005% levy to finance the fund.
Teniola claims the levy would not only affect telcos and ISPs, but firms playing in the financial industry will also feel the impact.
“It should be stated for the purpose of records that government should not think that the elasticity of demand for the use of electronic channels is inelastic as this move can stop people from transacting their businesses via available electronic channels,” said Teniola.
The move to implement the section in question could increase the transaction charges of electronic financial services which is also capable of discouraging people from performing electronic transactions.
This will definitely stunt the growth recorded by the financial, telecommunications and other sectors of the nation's economy. Furthermore, the cashless society initiative of CBN could also be at stake.
ATCON's standpoint on section 44 of the cybercrime act should have been prior to the passage of the bill, as it stands now, the telcos' rejection of the implementation of the levy is a call for the review of the bill.