CBN Withdraws Directive on Cybersecurity Levy for Banks


CBN Withdraws Directive on Cybersecurity Levy for Banks

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has rescinded its directive to banks and other financial institutions to impose a cybersecurity levy on electronic transfers. Initially issued on May 6, the directive required commercial, merchant, non-interest, and payment service banks, as well as mobile money operators and payment service providers, to charge a 0.5 percent levy on electronic transfers.

The proceeds from this levy were intended to be remitted to the national cybersecurity fund, managed by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), in line with the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc.) Amendment Act of 2024.

However, the CBN halted the implementation of this levy through a circular dated May 17, which was made public on May 19. The circular was signed by Chibuzo Efobi, Director of the Payments System Management Department, and Haruna Mustafa, Director of the Financial Policy and Regulation Department.

The CBN’s statement read: “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 Further to this, please be advised that the above-referenced circular is hereby withdrawn. Please be guided accordingly.”

Read Also: Cybersecurity: CBN Approves 0.5% New Levy

This withdrawal followed President Bola Tinubu’s suspension of the cybersecurity levy on May 14. The President directed the CBN to suspend the implementation and review the modalities for its implementation. The levy had faced significant criticism, 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 the NLC, stated on May 7 that such deductions directly affect the disposable income of workers and further diminish the purchasing power of the common citizen. He added that domestic manufacturers and other businesses were already suffering due to the challenging socio-economic environment.

Read Also: CBN Halts Charges on Cash Deposits in Banks

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