Imposition Of 0.5 % Cybersecurity Levy Is Anti people, Says CNF

Imposition Of 0.5 % Cybersecurity Levy Is Anti people, Says CNF

By: Dr. Bayero Agabi

The Cloud Network Foundation ( CNF) has called on the federal government to immediately rescind the decision on the implementation of the 0.5 per cent tax on cybersecurity.

In statement released today by the Non-governmental Foundation and signed by its chairman, Mr Abimbola Tooki, the foundation said the tax will further make life more unbearable for Nigerians.

CNF is a technology focused Foundation that ensures the well being of the technology ecosystem and Netizens.

Read Also: Confidence Staveley Becomes First Nigerian Finalist of Cybersecurity Woman Of The Year Award

The FG announced recently that the Central Bank of Nigeria will begin the implementation of an amended 2015 Cybersecurity Act that will levy a 0.5% fee on all electronic transactions on May 20.

It will be noted that the levy is an increase of 900% from an earlier levy of 0.005%.

CNF is also worried that the cybersecurity levy would be charged in addition to existing fees like stamp duty, a ₦50 charge on electronic receipt or transfer of money in any deposit money bank or financial institution on the sums of ₦10,000 or more.

The new levy if implemented, will constitute a burden on Nigerians, especially low-income earners who rely on electronic transactions for daily activities.
At a time the President Bola Tinubu government should be easing the burden on Nigeria as a result of the already high cost of living occasioned by high prices of goods and services the government chose to inflict more pain on people by introducing more taxation on the people.

The statement further said it considers the new cybersecurity levy like a reenacting of the days of Israel under king Rehoboam when the people thought the new king would ease their burden which his father Solomon put on them, he turns out he was set to increase it to an unbearable proportion through imposition of much taxes.

CNF said it considers the latest tax extortionary more so as the new levy will be imposed on all bank transactions.

The Cybersecurity Act was first passed in 2015 and introduced a 0.005% levy on electronic transfers.

A June 2018 CBN memo directed banks to collect the levy on “electronic transactions occurring in a bank or on a mobile money scheme or any other payment platform that have an accompanying service charge.”

Read Also: Cybersecurity: NCC Commences Nationwide Sensitisation

In 2024, the Act was amended and the levy was increased by 900% to 0.05% and it also extended the levy to cover fintechs, payment service providers, and other financial institutions.

On May 3, the National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu called for an implementation of the amended act, highlighting the increased influence of the NSA. The cybersecurity levy will be remitted monthly to the National Cybersecurity Fund

The Central Bank of Nigeria on Monday, issued a circular to all commercial, merchant, non-interest, and payment service banks, among others; noting that the implementation of the levy would start two weeks from Monday, May 6, 2024.

The circular stated partly, “The levy shall be applied at the point of electronic transfer origination, then deducted and remitted by the financial institution. The deducted amount shall be reflected in the customer’s account with the narration, ‘Cybersecurity Levy.”

Thereafter, the levy will be deducted by financial institutions and then remitted to the National Cybersecurity Fund administered by the Office of the National Security Adviser.

Read Also: Cybersecurity: CBN Approves 0.5% New Levy

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