Subscribers of the Global System of Mobile telecommunications (GSM) across the country would pay more for calls and data.

The increase follows the proposed implementation of the cyber security levy by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The CBN had directed banks to start collecting the 0.005 per cent levy on all electronic transactions into a National Cyber Security Fund.

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.”

Businesses affected by this charge include: GSM service providers – MTN, Glo, Airtel, 9Mobile and all telecommunication companies; Internet service providers; banks and other financial institutions; insurance companies and Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

Although the telecoms companies declined to speak on the matter, the President of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON),  Olusola Teniola, noted that if CBN decides to go ahead with the implementation, his members will have no choice but to pass the cost to the subscribers.

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He stated all members of ATCON have concluded that the only way to survive with the new levy is to increase tariff across board.

"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.

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