Minister Of Information Reiterates Suspension Of Cybersecurity Levy By FG

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

Recall President Bola Ahmed Tinubu had at the weekend, directed suspension of the implementation of the cybersecurity levy, as provided for in the Cybersecurity Act 2015 recently unveiled by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to avoid overburdening citizens who were already battling economic hardship.

Nigeria’s Minister of Information and National Orientation Mohammed Idris reiterated this again while briefing State House Correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the State House in Abuja on Tuesday.

He said the policy is undergoing a review.

“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,” 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 per cent. 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 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 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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