If you are a telecommunications service subscriber in Nigeria, then you may soon be paying a higher tariff for telephone services such as call and data.
This is attributable to the recent move by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to implement section 44 of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention etc) 2015 Act (PDF) which spells out the model of financing the National Cyber Security Fund.
According to section 44, sub-sections 2 and 2a, “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) a levy of 0.005 of all electronic transactions by the businesses specified in the second schedule to this Act.”
Other businesses listed in the schedule 2 of the Act, apart from telecommunications companies and Internet Service Providers, include financial institutions, insurance companies and the Nigerian Stock Exchange. This implies that it’s not only telecom customers that are likely to pay more for services.
The Association of Telecommunications Commission (ATCON) had earlier frowned at CBN over the implementation. Stating the reason for the disagreeing with the apex bank, ATCON National President, Olusola Teniola said the implementation would lead to an increase in the tariff of telecommunications services.
Whether the listed businesses choose to share the burden of the levy with their customers or not, the customers are more likely going to end up making up for it, as businesses’ main goal is to maximise profit.
Affordability is one of the key drivers of broadband penetration, hence an increase in tariff of telecom services has the potential of negatively affecting the growth recorded so far in the telecommunications industry in Nigeria.
There’s a need for the reconsideration of the means of financing the cyber security fund in order to protect businesses as well as customers.
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