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House Of Reps Urges CBN To Halt Cybersecurity Levy Implementation

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We Are Not Revoking Unity, Polaris, Keystone Banks’ Licences – CBN

The Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) introduction of a cybercrime levy has been met with opposition from the House of Representatives, calling for a halt in its implementation.

This directive comes amidst concerns that the levy, as stated in a recent circular from the apex bank, may be misinterpreted by the public and run counter to the Cybercrime Act’s provisions.

In a motion presented by minority leader Kingsley Chinda (PDP, Rivers) on behalf of members, the House said that the CBN needs to withdraw its previous circular on the levy’s implementation and issue a new one that aligns with the Cybercrime Act’s stipulations.

News About Nigeria reported that the CBN’s directive, issued on Monday, mandated banks to implement a cybersecurity levy deduction process overseen by the National Security Adviser’s office.

However, this move was criticised, including the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), which gave the federal government 48 hours to rescind the 0.5% levy imposed on Nigerians.

The cybersecurity levy,which takes effect on May 20, 2024, is a 0.5% tax on electronic transactions, according to the CBN’s circular.

This tax, which is equal to half the amount of electronic transactions listed in the Second Schedule of the Cybercrime Act, is supposed to be paid to the National Cybersecurity Fund, which is managed by the Office of the National Security Advisor.

The CBN clarified that the levy would be separately reflected in customers’ accounts as “Cybersecurity Levy” and applied at the point of electronic transfer origination, with financial institutions responsible for deduction and remittance.

Meanwhile, the former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, kicked against the newly introduced cyber security levy.

In a post on his official X account on Wednesday, Peter Obi noted that the cybersecurity levy is part of the many taxes that the federal government is collecting from Nigerians who are struggling to survive the current economic hardship.

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