Tinubu directs CBN to halt implementation of cybersecurity levy

President Bola Tinubu has ordered a review and requested that the controversial cybersecurity levy policy be put on hold by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

This followed the House of Representatives resolution last Thursday, requesting that the CBN rescind the circular ordering all banks to start imposing a 0.5% cybersecurity tax on all electronic transactions made in the nation.

Following the guidelines outlined in the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc.) (Amendment) Act 2024, the CBN issued a circular on May 6, 2024, requiring all banks, mobile money providers, and payment service providers to impose a new cybersecurity charge.

The National Cybersecurity Fund supervised by the Office of the National Security Adviser, will receive a levy equal to 0.5 per cent of the total value of all electronic transactions, as per the Act.

The fee must be applied by financial institutions at the origination point of electronic transfers.

The sum that has been withheld must be clearly indicated in client accounts with the label “Cybersecurity Levy” and sent by the financial institution. The fee must be implemented by all financial institutions within two weeks of the circular’s release.

It follows that financial institutions should start deducting the fee on May 20, 2024.

Remittances from financial institutions, however, must be made in bulk to the NCF account held at the CBN by the fifth business day of the following month.

The circular also provides financial institutions with a timeline for system reconfiguration in order to guarantee the timely and accurate submission of remittance files to the Nigeria Interbank Settlement Systems Plc.

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