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Tinubu asks CBN to suspend implementation of cybersecurity levy

A source in the presidency said President Tinubu does not want to add to the burden of Nigerians.

President Bola Tinubu and CBN Governor, Olayemi Cardoso.

According to ThePunch, the president also asked the apex bank to review the policy.

This followed the recent introduction of a 0.5% cybersecurity levy on all electronic transactions by the CBN based on the provisions of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) (Amendment) Act 2024.

According to the Act, the charges deducted from all electronic transactions will be remitted to the National Cybersecurity Fund supervised by the Office of the National Security Adviser.

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As stated in the circular, this is expected to commence by May 20, 2024, but the president has asked the CBN to stop the implementation of the policy.

A senior presidency official, who spoke to ThePunch about the controversial policy said President Tinubu does not want to add to the burden of Nigerians.

The source said, “The President is sensitive to what Nigerians feel. And he will not want to proceed with implementing a policy that adds to the burden of the people.

“So, he has asked the CBN to hold off on that policy and ordered a review. I would have said he ordered the CBN, but that is not appropriate because the CBN is autonomous. But he has asked the CBN to hold off on it and review things again.”

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Another anonymous source in the presidency said the president ordered the review of the policy because he did not want his administration to be seen as insensitive.

“If you look at it, the law predates the Tinubu administration. It was enacted in 2015 and signed by Goodluck Jonathan. It is only being implemented now.

“You know he (Tinubu) was not around when that directive was being circulated. And he does not want to present his government as being insensitive. As it is now, the CBN has held off the instruction to banks to start charging people. So, the President is sensitive. His goal is not to just tax Nigerians like that. That is not his intention. So, he has ordered a review of that law,” the source said.

Meanwhile, the Trade Union Congress (TUC) had threatened to mobilise Nigerians and shut down the county if the Federal Government failed to reverse the policy.

The union said it is illogical for the CBN to impose a new levy on citizens who are already dealing with multiple taxation from banks and the government.

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