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Stop Cybersecurity Levy,House Of Rep. Direct CBN

The House of Representatives has directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to stop the implementation of the 0.5 per cent cybersecurity levy on transactions designed to contain growing threats of cybercrime in the financial system.

This resolution follows a motion of urgent public importance moved on Thursday by the Minority Leader of the House, Kingsley Chinda.
In a May 6, 2024 circular, the CBN had directed all financial institutions to begin implementation of the controversial cybersecurity levy.

The circular was directed to all commercial, merchant, non-interest, and payment service banks.

The CBN stated that the implementation of the levy would begin two weeks from the day of its announcement.

According to the apex bank, the directive is in line with the recent amendment to the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) (Amendment) Act 2024.

The Guardian reports that aside the 0.5% Cyber security tax, other bank-related charges in Nigeria include: 1percent Stamp Duty, 7.5 percent Value Added Tax (VAT), 1percent FGN Tax, Deposit Levies, Commission on Turnover CoT, N4 SMS charges, Account Maintenance as well as Automated Teller Machine (ATM) charges.

Since its announcement, the cybercrime levy has been met with series of criticism.

Among who have expressed displeasure about the levy are the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC).

While the NLC demanded an immediate halt to the implementation, the TUC threatened it would shut down the economy if the Federal Government does not scrap the policy.

In Thursday’s session, Chinda said the Cybercrime Act is implemented wrongly by the CBN.

The House then directed the CBN to withdraw the circular and issue a new one with clarity.

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