Prof. Umerah Hails Tinubu's Decision To Suspend Cybersecurity Levy

An American-based Nigerian Professor of Medicine and philanthropist, Prof. Emeka Umerah, the President and Executive Program Director of the Public Policy Advocacy and Research Council, inc (PPRAC) has commended President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for suspending the implementation of the controversial cyberseecurity levy on all electronic transactions in the country.

He praised the president for the suspension of the policy in view of the outcry by Nigerians.

Sources said President Tinubu on Thursday ordered the Cental Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to suspend and review the policy to avoid overburdening the citizenry.

This followed a directive by the House of Representatives asking the CBN to withdraw its circular directing all banks to start deducting the levy from May 20, 2024, in line with the provisions of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) (Amendment) Act 2024.

The nation's apex bank, the CBN had directed all financial institutions in the country to deduct the levy at the point of electronic transfer origination. 

It directed the financial institutions including commercial, microfinance, and primary mortgage banks, and development financial institutions to start deducting the levy "within eight weeks of the issuance of the Circular."

Also, it directed strict adherence to the policy, warning that non-compliance by any financial institution that would attract severe penalties as outlined in the Act.

In a statement on Monday, Prof Umerah described the suspension of the policy as a timely intervention by the President to stop aggravating the burden on Nigerians 

According to him: 'This timely intervention to suspend the so-called cyberseecurity levy showed that Nigerians have a listening and sympathetic President in His Excellency, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

"By this singular action, our President has demonstrated his humaneness and rare statesmanship, which reassured the generality of our people that they made the right decision in electing him in the last Presidential Election.
"This has shown that President Tinubu is sensitive to the feelings of Nigerians and will do everything possible in his capacity to prevent compounding his people's problems."

Prof Umerah, who is a member of the "Tinubu Diaspora Group USA", ABAT Diaspora Movement, 
noted that the President was not in the country when the CBN issued the circular. 

But immediately he returned to the country, he directed the suspension and review of the policy which would have worsened the burden on the people.

In his words: "Moreover, the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) (Amendment) Act 2024, which predated this administration, wws enacted in 2015 and signed by former President Goodluck Jonathan."

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