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CBN withdraws cybersecurity levy

The Federal Government has suspended the controversial cybersecurity levy following a nationwide backlash

The Central Bank of Nigeria has retracted its directive asking banks and payment service providers to collect and remit the 0.5% cybersecurity levy outlined in the Cybercrime Prevention and Prohibition Amendment Act 2024. The apex bank announced this in a revised May 17, 2024 circular.

“Please be advised that the above-referenced circular [the circular that implemented the levy] is hereby withdrawn,” the circular reads.

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

In its initial circular dated May 6, 2024, addressed to all deposit money banks, mobile money operators, and payment service providers, the apex bank directed the deduction of the levy to be remitted to the National Cybersecurity Fund (NCF), administered by the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA).

However, the directive for collecting the levy was met with nationwide backlash, which prompted the Presidency to suspend its implementation. This backlash is one major factor that led the Federal Government to subsequently suspend the controversial cybersecurity levy on May 14, 2024.