Nigeria Suspends 0.5% Cybersecurity Levy on Electronic Transactions

Nigeria's federal government, led by President Bola Tinubu, has suspended the controversial 0.5% cybersecurity levy on electronic banking transactions, introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to fund the National Cyber Security Fund, following widespread criticism and a Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the Presidential Villa in Abuja." This description focuses on the primary topic (suspension of cybersecurity levy), main entities (President Tinubu, CBN, FEC), context (Nigeria's federal government, Presidential Villa in Abuja), significant actions (suspension of levy), and objective details (0.5% levy, National Cyber Security Fund) that will guide the AI in creating an accurate visual representation of the article's content.

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Aqsa Younas Rana
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Nigeria Suspends 0.5% Cybersecurity Levy on Electronic Transactions

Nigeria Suspends 0.5% Cybersecurity Levy on Electronic Transactions

Nigeria's federal government, led by President Bola Tinubu, has suspended the controversial 0.5% cybersecurity levy on electronic banking transactions. The decision was announced on Tuesday following widespread criticism and a Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

Why this matters: The suspension of the cybersecurity levy highlights the importance of balancing national security concerns with the economic burden on citizens. This decision may set a precedent for future policies, influencing the relationship between government, citizens, and the private sector in Nigeria.

The cybersecurity levy was introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on May 6, 2024, as part of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) (Amendment) Act 2024. The act mandated a 0.5% deduction from the value of all electronic transactions to fund the National Cyber Security Fund, overseen by the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA).

However, the policy was met with strong reactions from Nigerians, including members of the House of Representatives, who demanded that the CBN temporarily withdraw the circular, labeling it as "ambiguous." The Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture (NACCIMA) also asked the Federal Government and the CBN to cap the maximum amount for the levy at N500 to lessen the burden on the private sector.

Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, confirmed the suspension of the cybersecurity levy. "The position of the government is that that policy has been suspended. It has been put on hold. That is the position of the government for now. It is undergoing some form of review," Idris stated after the FEC meeting.

President Tinubu directed the CBN to suspend the implementation of the levy and review the modalities for its application. The suspension may be seen as an attempt to mitigate public discontent and alleviate the burden on Nigerians, who are already grappling with economic challenges.

The cybersecurity levy suspension comes just weeks before the Tinubu administration marks its first year in power on May 29, 2024. As the government reviews the policy, it remains to be seen how the cybersecurity funding gap will be addressed while ensuring the protection of Nigeria's digital infrastructure without overburdening its citizens.

Key Takeaways

  • Nigeria's federal government suspends 0.5% cybersecurity levy on electronic banking transactions.
  • The levy was introduced to fund the National Cyber Security Fund, but faced widespread criticism.
  • President Bola Tinubu directed the CBN to review the levy's modalities and suspend its implementation.
  • The suspension aims to alleviate the economic burden on Nigerians and mitigate public discontent.
  • The government must now address the cybersecurity funding gap without overburdening citizens.