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CBN backtracks on cybersecurity levy after Tinubu's intervention

The Federal Government received backlash from Nigerians over the proposed implementation of the cybersecurity levy.

CBN backtracks on cybersecurity levy after Tinubu's intervention

Two weeks ago, the apex bank announced the levy, a development that left many Nigerians incensed with the government. Following the barrage of public criticism, President Bola Tinubu ordered the suspension of the policy on Tuesday, May 14, 2024.

The President directed the apex bank to temporarily halt the enforcement of the levy to review the methods for its application.

Meanwhile, in its latest circular dated May 17, 2024, the CBN referred to the earlier May 6, 2024 circular and informed financial institutions that the initial circular on implementing the cybersecurity levy “is hereby withdrawn”.

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

Its initial circular had instructed all deposit money banks, mobile money operators, and payment service providers to deduct the levy and remit to the National Cybersecurity Fund (NCF), administered by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).

The development was met with wide condemnation with labour unions threatening actions and pressure groups, including opposition figures faulting the timing of the proposed implementation.

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Critics expressed worry that the levy would worsen the economic challenge, especially the cost of living crisis and ballooning inflation.

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