CBN withdraws Cybersecurity Levy circular after FG suspension

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has withdrawn its earlier circular directing banks to implement a controversial 0.5% cybersecurity levy on electronic transactions. The apex bank had on May 6 issued a circular to all commercial, merchant, non-interest and payment service banks as well as mobile money operators and payment service providers directed the deduction of the levy to be remitted to the National Cybersecurity Fund (NCF), administered by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).

The development sparked wild outcries with labour unions threatening actions and pressure groups faulting the timing of the implementation of the levy amidst the cost of living crisis exacerbated by rising inflation. The Federal Government susbsequently suspended the controversial cybersecurity levy, as announced by Information Minister Mohammed Idris on May 14, 2024.

In a fresh circular dated May 17, 2024, the apex bank referred to the earlier May 6, 2024 circular and advised financial institutions that the initial circular on the implementation of the cybersecurity levy “is hereby withdrawn”.

The CBN’s latest circular on the matter was co-signed by its Director of Payments System Management Department, Chibuzo Efobi; and his counterpart at the Financial Policy and Regulation Department, Haruna Mustafa.

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