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Tinubu Orders Suspension of Cybersecurity Levy Implementation, Calls for Review

Ijaw national congress urges FG to adopt 1963 constitution
Ijaw national congress urges FG to adopt 1963 constitution

President Bola Tinubu has directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to halt the enforcement of the contentious cybersecurity levy policy and to conduct a thorough review.

This move comes in response to the House of Representatives’ call to rescind the circular issued by the CBN, which mandated financial institutions to impose a 0.5 per cent cybersecurity levy on electronic transactions.

The levy, outlined in the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) (Amendment) Act 2024, aims to collect funds for the National Cybersecurity Fund overseen by the Office of the National Security Adviser. However, concerns over the interpretation and economic impact of the levy prompted Tinubu to intervene and order a reassessment.

The CBN issued a circular on May 6, 2024, instructing banks, mobile money operators, and payment service providers to implement a 0.5 per cent cybersecurity levy on electronic transactions, effective May 20, 2024.

Financial institutions were required to deduct the levy at the point of electronic transfer origination and remit it to the National Cybersecurity Fund account.

The circular outlined exemptions for certain transactions to avoid overburdening consumers, including loan disbursements, salary payments, and inter-account transfers within the same bank.

The House of Representatives raised concerns over the ambiguity of the directive and urged the CBN to issue a clearer directive aligning with the Cybersecurity Act’s provisions.

President Tinubu’s decision to suspend the levy reflects his sensitivity to the economic challenges faced by Nigerians and his commitment to alleviating financial burdens.

Vice President Kashim Shettima clarified that the tax reforms implemented by the Tinubu administration aim to sustain investment friendliness rather than frustrate citizens.

The suspension of the cybersecurity levy implementation has been welcomed by opposition parties and stakeholders, who view it as a step towards addressing the concerns raised by the public.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) rejected the levy, asserting that it deepened financial burdens on citizens already grappling with economic challenges, and demanded its reversal.

This Article is Fact-Checked. See Policy.

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