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Nigeria Labour Congress Rejects CBN’s 0.5% Cybersecurity Levy, Calls for Policy Reversal

NLC tells police to exit Rivers LG councils or face protest
NLC tells police to exit Rivers LG councils or face protest

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has strongly opposed the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) directive to impose a 0.5% cybersecurity tax on electronic transactions, labeling it as an unjust burden on hardworking Nigerians.


In a statement issued by NLC President Joe Ajaero, the directive was criticized for its failure to consider the implications on workers and vulnerable segments of society.


Ajaero demanded a policy reversal and urged the government to introduce a cybersecurity measure that does not add to the financial strain on the Nigerian people.

The NLC emphasized the importance of cybersecurity in the digital age but denounced the levy as another form of taxation that exacerbates the financial responsibilities of Nigerians.


The statement highlighted concerns about the ruling elite’s exploitation of workers and the masses through excessive levies. The NLC called on the Federal Government to prioritize policies that alleviate financial burdens and urged collaboration between government, regulatory bodies, and stakeholders to develop sustainable cybersecurity measures.

Background:

The CBN issued a circular on Monday, May 6, directing banks to implement the deduction of a cybersecurity levy, as stipulated in the 2024 Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc.) Amendment Act.


This levy entails a 0.5% deduction from the value of all electronic transactions to fund the National Cyber Security Fund, administered by the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA). Financial institutions are required to commence deduction within two weeks of the circular’s issuance.

Non-compliance penalties:

The CBN warned of penalties for defaulting, citing fines equivalent to no less than 2% of the annual turnover of defaulting businesses, as prescribed in the amended Cyber Crime Prohibition and Prevention Act.

Effective date and exemptions:

The new policy is set to take effect within two weeks, according to a circular jointly signed by CBN officials Chibuzor Efobi and Haruna Mustafa. While the levy applies to all electronic transactions, an appendix to the circular lists 16 exempted transactions.


This Article is Fact-Checked. See Policy.
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