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Amid outrage, CBN withdraws circular on cybersecurity levy



The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has withdrawn its earlier circular directing banks to implement a controversial 0.5% cybersecurity levy on electronic transactions.

The apex bank’s decision to withdraw the circular followed the backlash that trailed the announcement of the policy two weeks ago and the suspension of the levy by the Federal Government last week.

The CBN in its latest circular dated May 17, 2024, referred to the earlier circular issued on May 6 and advised financial institutions that the initial circular on the implementation of the cybersecurity levy has been withdrawn.

The CBN’s latest circular was co-signed by its Director of Payments System Management Department, Chibuzo Efobi; and his counterpart at the Financial Policy and Regulation Department, Haruna Mustafa.

READ ALSO:SERAP gives Nigerian govt 48 hours to reverse CBN’s 0.5% cybersecurity levy or face court action

The CBN had in the initial circular addressed to all deposit money banks, mobile money operators and payment service providers, directed the deduction of the levy to be remitted to the National Cybersecurity Fund (NCF), administered by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).

The development sparked outcry in the country with labour unions threatening actions and pressure groups faulting the timing of the implementation of the levy amidst the cost-of-living crisis exacerbated by rising inflation.

The federal government suspended the implementation of the controversial levy on May 14.

By: Baabajide Okeowo

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