Home Inside Africa Nigeria Nigeria Suspends Controversial 0.5% Cybersecurity ‘E-Levy’

Nigeria Suspends Controversial 0.5% Cybersecurity ‘E-Levy’

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has officially rescinded its directive that required banks to implement a contentious 0.5% levy on electronic transactions to fund cybersecurity measures.

This decision follows significant public backlash that erupted after the policy was announced two weeks ago, prompting the Federal Government to suspend the levy last week.

Initially, the CBN had issued a circular on May 6, 2024, instructing all banks, mobile money operators, and payment service providers to deduct the levy and remit it to the National Cybersecurity Fund (NCF), managed by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).

The policy announcement triggered widespread outrage. Labor unions threatened to take action, and various pressure groups criticized the timing, highlighting the severe cost of living crisis exacerbated by rising inflation.

Responding to the public outcry, Information Minister Mohammed Idris announced on May 14, 2024, that the Federal Government had suspended the cybersecurity levy.

In a subsequent circular dated May 17, 2024, the CBN officially withdrew its earlier directive from May 6, 2024, advising all financial institutions that the implementation of the cybersecurity levy was canceled.

The latest CBN circular was co-signed by Chibuzo Efobi, Director of the Payments System Management Department, and Haruna Mustafa, Director of the Financial Policy and Regulation Department.

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