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IT’S OFFICIAL: Tinubu suspends 0.5% cybersecurity levy

A keypad with a cybersecurity button A keypad with a cybersecurity button

President Bola Tinubu has suspended the 0.5 percent cybersecurity levy after criticism trailed the announcement.

Mohammed Idris, minister of information and national orientation, announced the suspension after the federal executive council (FEC) meeting on Tuesday.

Idris said Tinubu directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to suspend the implementation and review the modalities for its implementation.

On May 6, the CBN introduced the cybersecurity levy, mandating all banks, mobile money operators, and payment service providers to commence implementation in two weeks.

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The levy was part of the Cybercrime (prohibition, prevention, etc) (Amendment) Act 2024, which approved a 0.5 percent levy on the value of all electronic transactions to be collected and remitted to the national cybersecurity fund, overseen by the office of the national security adviser (NSA).

Idris said the cybersecurity levy was thoroughly discussed at the FEC meeting, adding that the president is not insensitive to the feelings of Nigerians.

On May 9, the house of representatives asked the CBN to withdraw the directive to financial institutions.

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The green chamber passed the resolution for CBN to withdraw the directive during a plenary session, following the adoption of a motion sponsored by Kingsley Chinda, a house minority leader, and 359 other lawmakers.

“This act has led to apprehension as civil society organisations and citizens have taken to conventional and social media to call out the federal government, give ultimatums for a reversal of the ‘imposed levy on Nigerians’ among other things,” Chinda said.

During the plenary session, the lawmakers said the circular was ambiguous.

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