CBN pulls cybersecurity levy circular

Onwubuke Melvin
Onwubuke Melvin

Alex Pmenye

The Central Bank of Nigeria has canceled its order for banks and payment service providers to collect and send a cybersecurity levy, which was part of the Cybercrime Prevention and Prohibition Amendment Act of 2024.

The cancellation was announced in a new circular dated May 17, 2024, signed by Chibuzor Efobi, Director of Payment Systems Management, and Haruna Mustafa, Director of Financial Policy and Regulation Department. This circular was sent to commercial banks, payment service providers, non-interest banks, and others.

According to The PUNCH, the circular was titled, “Re: Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, Etc.) (Amendment) Act 2024 – Implementation Guidance on the Collection and Remittance of the National Cybersecurity Levy.”

It stated, “The Central Bank of Nigeria circular dated May 6, 2024 (Ref: PSMD/DIR/PUB/LAB/017/004) on the above subject refers. Further to this, please be advised that the above-referenced circular is hereby withdrawn.”

The cybersecurity levy, initially introduced through a circular on May 6, 2024, mandated a 0.5% levy on the value of all electronic transactions, to be sent to the National Cybersecurity Fund managed by the Office of the National Security Adviser.

The introduction of the levy faced strong criticism nationwide, leading to the Presidency suspending its implementation. The Federal Executive Council also halted the implementation of the law’s provisions, stating the need for further reviews.

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