CBN rescinds decision on cybersecurity levy

By Innocent Raphael

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has rescinded its directive requiring banks and other financial institutions to impose a cybersecurity levy on electronic transfers.

This move follows the issuance of a circular dated May 17, which nullified the initial directive announced on May 6.

Previously, the CBN had mandated all commercial, merchant, non-interest, and payment service banks, along with mobile money operators and payment service providers, to charge a 0.5 percent levy on electronic transfers.

This was in accordance with the newly enacted Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc.) Amendment Act of 2024.

The collected funds were intended to be remitted to the national cybersecurity fund and managed by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).

However, in a circular signed by Chibuzo Efobi, Director of Payments System Management Department, and Haruna Mustafa, Director of Financial Policy and Regulation Department, the CBN announced the withdrawal of this directive.

The circular, released on May 19, succinctly stated, “Further to this, please be advised that the above-referenced circular is hereby withdrawn. Please be guided accordingly.”

The reversal follows President Bola Tinubu’s intervention on May 14, when he suspended the cybersecurity levy and instructed the CBN to reassess its implementation.

The proposed levy had faced significant opposition, notably from the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC). NLC President Joe Ajaero criticized the levy as an additional burden on Nigerians, arguing it would further reduce workers’ disposable income and purchasing power.

He also highlighted the detrimental impact on domestic manufacturers and businesses already struggling in a challenging socio-economic environment.

Back to top button