CBN Withdraws Cybersecurity Levy Circular to Banks

May 20, 2024

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has finally withdrawn its circular to banks and payment service providers on the collection and remittance of a cybersecurity levy of 0.5 per cent proposed in the Cybercrime Prevention and Prohibition Amendment Act of 2024.

In a revised circular dated May 17, which was released by the CBN on Monday, May 20, the central bank emphasised that the previous directive had been withdrawn and should not be implemented.

The latest circular was signed by the Director of Payment Systems Management, Mr Chibuzor Efobi; and the Director of Financial Policy and Regulation, Mr Haruna Mustafa, and was addressed to commercial banks, payment service providers, non-interest banks, and others.

The official announcement follows a withdrawal reached at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) at its last meeting to suspend the levy as it has generated public outcry.

“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.

“So, I can tell you that the cybersecurity levy has been put on hold. It is being reviewed by the government,” the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mr Mohammed Idris said after the meeting.

The CBN had earlier issued a circular to various financial institutions, including commercial, merchant, non-interest, and payment service banks, indicating that the levy would come into effect two weeks from May 20 (which was supposed to be today).

“The levy shall be applied at the point of electronic transfer origination, then deducted and remitted by the financial institution. The deducted amount shall be reflected in the customer’s account with the narration ‘Cybersecurity Levy’.

“Deductions shall commence within two weeks from the date of this circular for all financial institutions and the monthly remittance of the levies collected in bulk to the NCF account domiciled at the CBN by the fifth business day of every subsequent month,” the directive read in part.

However, the directive sparked a nationwide outcry from Nigerians and organisations, who expressed dissatisfaction and highlighted that banking transactions are becoming increasingly costly due to numerous charges.

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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