CBN Suspends 0.5% Cybersecurity Levy After Outcry From Nigerians

CBN Governor Yemi Cardoso

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has withdrawn its earlier circular directing financial institutions to implement the national cybersecurity levy after the policy was largely resisted.

The apex bank confirmed the suspension in a circular issued on May 17, 2024 with reference number PSMD/DIR/PUB/LAB/017/005 addressed to commercial banks, mobile money operators, and other financial institutions.

In an earlier circular issued on May 6, 2024 with reference PSMD/DIR/PUB/LAB/017/004, the bank mandated financial institutions to charge a 0.5 per cent levy on all electronic transactions.

Experts had argued that the levy would disrupt the financial sector, add more burden to Nigerians and impact negatively the struggling economy.

President Bola Tinubu last week ordered the suspension of the National Cybersecurity levy.

In response to the directive, the apex bank said in the new circular jointly signed by Mr. Chibuzo A. Efobi, Director, Payments System Management Department, and Mr. Haruna B. Mustafa, Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department that the circular has been withdrawn.

“Further to this, please be advised that the circular has been withdrawn. Please be guided accordingly,” the bank said.

The apex bank did not explain the reason for the withdrawal.