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CBN Withdraws Controversial 0.5% Cybersecurity Levy Directive Amid Public Outcry

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has officially withdrawn its directive for banks to implement the controversial 0.5% Cybersecurity Levy on electronic transactions.

This decision comes in response to widespread public outcry and the subsequent suspension of the levy by the federal government on May 14, 2024.

The initial CBN circular had instructed all Deposit Money Banks, Mobile Money Operators, and Payment Service Providers to deduct the levy and remit it to the National Cybersecurity Fund which is administered by the Office of the National Security Adviser.

This directive, however, was met with significant backlash from Labour Unions and pressure groups who criticized the timing of the levy amidst a cost-of-living crisis exacerbated by rising inflation.

Following the government’s suspension, the CBN issued a new circular referencing the previous directive and advising financial institutions that the initial circular on the cybersecurity levy “is hereby withdrawn.”

This latest circular was co-signed by Mr. Chibuzo Efobi, Director of the Payments System Management Department, and Mr. Haruna Mustafa, Director of the Financial Policy and Regulation Department at the CBN.

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