FIRS Opposes Tax To Fund Child Online Protection Law

Adoga Stephen By Adoga Stephen - Editor-In-Chief
4 Min Read

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) rejected the idea of adding a new tax on businesses to support the Child Online Access Protection Bill during a public hearing organized by the house of representatives committee on justice.

Zacch Adedeji, the chairman of FIRS, represented by Mathew Osanekwu from the tax policy and advisory department, suggested that instead of introducing new taxes, the bill should be funded through appropriation if it becomes law.

“The impression we have is that the funding will be through a levy. We already have eight different levies, and I advised that the funding should come by way of appropriation,” he said.

Olumide Osoba, the chairman of the committee, emphasized the need for urgent regulations to ensure the safety of children online.

He mentioned that the bill aims to address the dangers of online violence towards young people and implement effective preventive measures.

“The safety and wellbeing of our children in this digital age should be our utmost priority, and I commend your efforts to address the issue of online violence and protect our young ones from its harmful effects,” Osoba said.

“The internet has undoubtedly revolutionised our society, connecting people from all walks of life and providing countless opportunities for learning, growth and entertainment.

“However, it also brings with it risks, particularly for the vulnerable minds of the online world. The internet has unfortunately given rise to various forms of violence, including cyberbullying, harassment, and even exploitation.

“As responsible members of this society, we must ensure that our children are shielded from such harm.

“By setting up regulations to restrict access to harmful content, imposing stricter penalties for perpetrators, and promoting digital literacy programmes, we can create a safer online environment for our children to explore and thrive in.”

The legislator stated that by providing children with the knowledge and skills needed to safely navigate the online world, we can actively involve them in their own protection.

“This bill demonstrates an understanding that prevention and awareness are equally essential components in countering online violence,” he said.

“Moreover, this bill recognises the need for collaborative efforts between parents, educators, internet service providers and the government.

“By ensuring a holistic approach to the issue, we can collectively work towards an internet culture that promotes empathy, respect, and understanding, rather than one that fosters violence and harm.

“We will not only safeguard our children’s wellbeing but also create a safer and more inclusive online space for all.”

Also speaking, Tajudeen Abbas, speaker of the house of representatives, who was represented by Usman Kumo, chief whip, said parents need to do anything to protect their children online.

“The protection of children on the internet cannot be over-emphasised because we are in a digital world,” he said.

“We must key into global best practices and our children must not be exposed to an extent where some people take advantage of them in abusing them.”

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By Adoga Stephen Editor-In-Chief
Stephen studied Mass Communication at the Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu (now Lagos State University of Science and Technology), where he acquired requisite training for the practice of journalism. He loves the media, and his interest mostly lies in print medium, where his creative writing skill makes him a perfect fit.