CBN Finally Takes Action After FG Withdraws Cybersecurity Levy

CBN Finally Takes Action After FG Withdraws Cybersecurity Levy

  • The recently controversial 0.5% cybersecurity levy intended for electronic transactions has been withdrawn
  • This came after the FG instructed the Central Bank of Nigeria to suspend the implementation of the policy
  • The decision was triggered by the outcry of many at a time when citizens are going through hardship in the country

Legit.ng journalist Zainab Iwayemi has over three years of experience covering the Economy, Technology, and Capital Market.

The controversial 0.5% cybersecurity fee that banks were ordered to impose on electronic transactions has been withdrawn by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

CBN finally takes action
The federal government's suspension of the levy last week and the public outcry prompted the CBN to remove the levy. Photo Credit: CBN, FG, SeventyFour
Source: Getty Images

Chibuzo Efobi, the director of the payment system management department, and Haruna Mustafa, the director of the financial policy and regulation department, signed a statement announcing the circular's withdrawal.

The circular stated,

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“The Central Bank of Nigeria circular dated May 6, 2024 (Ref. PSMD/DIR/PUB/LAB/017/004) on the above subject refers.
“Further to this, please be advised that the above referenced circular is hereby withdrawn.”

FG earlier suspended the fee

In its circular dated May 6, 2024, the apex bank instructed the levy deduction to be sent to the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA)- managed National Cybersecurity Fund (NCF).

This was addressed to all deposit money banks, mobile money operators, and payment service providers.

The news caused an uproar, with pressure groups criticizing the timing of the levy's adoption amid the cost of living issue made worse by growing inflation and labour unions threatening to take legal action.

In a recent report, however, President Bola Tinubu instructed the Central Bank of Nigeria to suspend the implementation of the controversial cybersecurity levy policy.

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He also ordered a review of the policy, which Nigerians and financial experts have widely rejected.

Legit.ng reported that President Tinubu decided to stop the implementation because of the economic burden the levy could bring to Nigerians.

A source said:

"Currently, the CBN has postponed the instruction to banks to begin charging people. This shows the President's sensitivity; his aim isn't to burden Nigerians with taxes. Consequently, he has instructed a review of that law."

Reasons naira is falling

Legit.ng reported that Atedo Peterside, the founder of Stanbic IBTC and the ANAP Foundation, claims that the President Bola Tinubu-led administration's pressing desire for the naira to strengthen against the dollar and other foreign currencies is not the best strategy for doing so.

Speaking on Channels Television's Politics Today on Thursday, Peterside said trying to strengthen the currency quickly will not succeed.

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He opined that the ideal course of action would be for the central bank to steadily increase the reserve while stabilising the value of the naira to a point where they could support it for a while.

Source: Legit.ng

Authors:
Zainab Iwayemi avatar

Zainab Iwayemi (Business Editor) Zainab Iwayemi is a business journalist with over 5 years experience reporting activities in the stock market, tech, insurance, banking, and oil and gas sectors. She holds a Bachelor of Science (B.sc) degree in Sociology from the University of Ilorin, Kwara State. Before Legit.ng, she worked as a financial analyst at Nairametrics where she was rewarded for outstanding performance. She can be reached via zainab.iwayemi@corp.legit.ng

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