Home Business Banking & Finance FG suspends cybersecurity levy, says Information Minister

FG suspends cybersecurity levy, says Information Minister

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The Federal Government has suspended the controversial cybersecurity levy on electronic banking transactions.

Briefing State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the State House in Abuja on Tuesday, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris said the policy is undergoing a review.

He said: “The position of the government is that that 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.

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

On 6 May, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) issued a circular directing deposit money banks to start charging a 0.5 per cent cybersecurity levy on transactions.

“Following the enactment of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) (amendment) Act 2024 and pursuant to the provision of Section 44 (2) (a) of the Act, ‘a levy of 0.5 per cent (0.005) equivalent to a half per cent of all electronic transactions value by the business specified in the Second Schedule of the Act’, is to be remitted to the National Cybersecurity Fund (NCF), which shall be administered by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA)”, the circular partly read.

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 per cent 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 Hon. Kingsley Chinda.

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

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