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Tinubu halts implementation of cybersecurity levy, orders review

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President Bola Tinubu has directed the Central Bank of Nigeria to suspend the enforcement of the contentious cybersecurity levy and initiate a thorough review process.

This decision follows the House of Representatives’ call for the CBN to retract its directive, which mandated financial institutions to impose a 0.5 per cent cybersecurity levy on electronic transactions nationwide.

The CBN’s circular, issued on May 6, 2024, mandated banks, mobile money operators, and payment service providers to implement the levy in accordance with the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) (Amendment) Act 2024.

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

Financial institutions were instructed to apply the levy at the point of electronic transaction origination, with deductions to be clearly labeled in customer accounts as “Cybersecurity Levy” and remitted accordingly.

Although financial institutions were set to commence levy deductions on May 20, 2024, Tinubu’s directive puts a temporary hold on the process.

The President’s decision aims to address concerns surrounding the ambiguity of the CBN’s directive and potential economic burdens on Nigerians. Tinubu’s administration prioritizes economic reforms without imposing undue financial strain on citizens.

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