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Northern Elders Forum Condemns CBN’s Cybersecurity Levy, Calls For Policy Review

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

The Northern Elders Forum (NEF), a prominent socio-cultural organisation representing the interests of the Northern region of Nigeria, has strongly criticised the recent decision by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to impose a cybersecurity levy on bank customers, News About Nigeria reports.

In a statement issued by the NEF’s Director of Publicity and Advocacy, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, the forum said it was dissatisfied with the policy, denouncing it as arbitrary, illegal, and disconnected from the realities faced by Nigerians. 

The NEF pointed out the escalating costs associated with banking transactions due to multiple charges imposed by financial institutions.

The forum maintained that the introduction of cybersecurity levies, alongside existing fees such as stamp duty, transfer fees, value-added tax (VAT), and SMS charges, has placed an unbearable financial burden on customers engaging in electronic transactions. 

The NEF pointed out that these additional costs significantly increase the overall expense of electronic transactions for both senders and receivers.

While acknowledging the importance of cybersecurity in safeguarding electronic transactions, the NEF stressed the need for a more balanced approach to ensure that the costs of security measures are reasonable and do not overly burden bank customers.

The NEF stated that in a country already grappling with economic challenges and hyperinflationary conditions, the additional financial burden imposed by the cybersecurity levy is unjust and unfair. 

The forum urged the government and relevant stakeholders to find a sustainable solution that strikes a fair balance between enhancing cybersecurity and alleviating the financial strain on the Nigerian populace.

“It is imperative that the administration takes into account the concerns raised by a vast majority of Nigerians and prioritises policies that protect the interests of the people while also fostering economic growth and development,” the NEF stated.

“It is crucial that the government listens to the concerns of organisations like the NEF and works towards implementing policies that benefit all Nigerians, rather than burdening them with additional costs and hardships,” the statement concluded.

The NEF urged the authorities and relevant stakeholders to engage in a meaningful review and find a solution that addresses the legitimate concerns raised by the public regarding the cybersecurity levy.

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