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Tinubu Directs CBN to Halt Cybersecurity Levy Amid House Resolution

President Bola Tinubu has intervened in the controversy surrounding the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) cybersecurity levy policy, instructing the apex bank to suspend its implementation pending a review.

This development comes in the wake of a resolution by the House of Representatives last Thursday, urging the CBN to retract its directive requiring all banks to impose a 0.5% cybersecurity tax on electronic transactions nationwide.

The CBN had issued a circular on May 6, 2024, instructing financial institutions to enforce the new cybersecurity levy, as stipulated in the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) (Amendment) Act 2024.

Under the Act, a levy equivalent to 0.5% of the value of electronic transactions is to be collected and remitted to the National Cybersecurity Fund, overseen by the Office of the National Security Adviser.

Financial entities are mandated to implement the levy at the point of origin for electronic transfers, with the deducted amount to be clearly delineated in customer accounts under the label “Cybersecurity Levy” and remitted accordingly.

Despite the impending commencement of levy deductions on May 20, 2024, financial institutions are instructed to remit their contributions in bulk to the designated NCF account held at the CBN by the fifth business day of each subsequent month.

Tinubu’s directive to halt the implementation of the cybersecurity levy underscores the significance of legislative oversight and public accountability in policymaking. As stakeholders await the outcome of the proposed review, attention will focus on the potential implications for Nigeria’s financial landscape and cybersecurity infrastructure.

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