Federal Govt Suspends Cybersecurity Levy

The Federal Government has officially announced the suspension of the controversial 0.5% cybersecurity levy on electronic banking transactions.

The Minister of Information and National Orientation Mohammed Idris who disclosed this while briefing State House Correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the State House in Abuja on Tuesday said the policy was undergoing a review.

The minister said, “The position of the government is that the policy has been suspended. It has been put on hold. That is the position of the government for now. It is undergoing some form of review. It was reiterated in the Council (FEC meeting) yesterday. You know that today’s Council (meeting) is a continuation of the Council meeting of yesterday,” the minister said.

“So, I can tell you that the cybersecurity levy has been put on hold. It is being reviewed by the government.”

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had on May 6 mandated banks, mobile money operators, and payment service providers to implement the levy as contained in the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) (Amendment) Act 2024.

With the development, all electronic transactions were expected to attract a levy of 0.5 percent. The money was to be remitted to the National Cybersecurity Fund overseen by the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA).

But the move was greeted with outrage, prompting calls for its suspension.

Last week, the House of Representatives asked the CBN to withdraw the circular directing financial institutions to commence implementation of the 0.5 percent cybersecurity levy, describing it as “ambiguous”.

The development was in response to a motion on the urgent need to halt and modify the implementation of the cybersecurity levy moved by Kingsley Chinda.

According to the Green House, the CBN is to withdraw the initial circular, and “issue a more understandable one”.

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