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CBN withdraws cybersecurity levy directive to banks

by editor

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has withdrawn the directive to banks and other financial institutions to charge cybersecurity levy on electronic transfers.

On May 6, the apex bank directed all commercial, merchant, non-interest and payment service banks, mobile money operators and payment service providers to charge a 0.5 percent cybersecurity levy on electronic transfers.

According to the apex bank, the deduction and collection of the cybersecurity levy is a sequel to the enactment of the Cybercrime (prohibition, prevention etc) Amendment Act of 2024.

CBN said the charges would be remitted to the national cyber security fund, and be administered by the office of the national security adviser (ONSA).

However, CBN halted the move to charge the cybersecurity levy in a circular titled ‘Re: Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, ETC) (Amendment) Act 2024 — Implementation Guidance on the Collection and Remittance of the National Cybersecurity Levy,’ and dated May 17.

The circular made public on May 19 was signed by Chibuzo Efobi, director, payments system management department, and Haruna Mustafa, director, financial policy and regulation department.

“The Central Bank of Nigeria circular dated May 6, 2024 (Ref:PSMD/DIR/PUB/LAB/017/004) on the above subject refers,” CBN said.

“Further to this, please be advised that the above referenced circular is hereby withdrawn.

“Please be guided accordingly.”

CBN withdrew the directive after President Bola Tinubu suspended the cybersecurity levy on May 14.

Tinubu directed the apex bank to suspend the implementation and review the modalities for its implementation.

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Criticism had trailed the levy, with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) condemning the directive and describing it as “another burden on the shoulders of hardworking Nigerians”.

Joe Ajaero, the president of NLC, on May 7, said such deductions directly affect the disposable income of workers and further diminish the purchasing power of the common citizen.

Ajaero said domestic manufacturers and other businesses were already suffering as a result of the stifling socio-economic environment.

Source: https://www.thecable.ng/cbn-withdraws-cybersecurity-levy-directive-to-banks/

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