House of Representatives Orders CBN to Suspend Cybersecurity Levy.


The Nigerian house of representatives, on Thursday, passed a motion directing the central bank of Nigeria (CBN) to stop and alter the planned execution of the cybersecurity levy.

The motion was raised by the minority leader in the house, Honourable Kingsely Chinda on behalf of others.

He said the CBN through a circular to all Commercial, Merchant, Non-interest and Payment Service Banks; other Financial Institutions, Mobile Money Operators and Payment Service Providers, dated May 6, 2024, informed Nigerians of a proposed 0.5% levy on electronic transactions in line with Section 44(2)(a) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc.) (Amendment) Act, 2024 (Cybercrimes Act).

Chinda explained that Section 44(2)(a) of the Cybercrimes Act 2024 provided, “A levy of 0.5% (0.005) equivalent to half percent of all electronic transactions value by business specified in the Second Schedule to this Act be paid into the Cybersecurity Fund.”

He added that businesses, which the said Section 44(2)(a) referred to, were listed in the Second Schedule to the Cybercrimes Act to be: GSM Service Providers and all telecommunication companies; Internet Service Providers; Banks and Other Financial Institutions; Insurance Companies and Nigerian Stock Exchange.

The minority leader was concerned that the CBN circular mandated all banks, other financial institutions and payments service providers to implement the Cybercrimes Act by applying the levy at the point of electronic transfer origination as “Cybersecurity Levy” and remitting same.

He expressed concern that the wordings of the circular left the CBN directive to multiple interpretations, including that the levy be paid by bank customers against the letters and spirit of Section 44(2)(a) and the Second Schedule to the Cybercrimes Act, which specified the businesses that should be levied accordingly.

The House, therefore, resolved, to “Direct the Central Bank of Nigeria to withdraw the ambiguous circular and issue an unequivocal Circular in line with the letters and spirit of the Law

“Direct the House Committees on Banking Regulations, and Banking and other Ancillary Institutions to guide the Central Bank of Nigeria properly.”


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