Federal Government Suspends Controversial 0.5% Cybersecurity Levy

The federal government has suspended the 0.5% cybersecurity levy on electronic banking transactions that was recently introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).President Bola Tinubu directed the suspension of the levy’s implementation to avoid overburdening citizens already facing economic hardship.

 The directive was given to the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), as the cybersecurity levy is not a CBN action but rather an ONSA initiative.The levy was aimed at financial institutions, telecoms firms, and other businesses to enhance cybersecurity measures and national security. 

However, the timing was criticized as ill-suited given the current economic realities.The House of Representatives had earlier asked the CBN to withdraw the circular directing banks to charge the 0.5% levy, citing concerns that it could be misinterpreted as a tax on bank customers.
Civil society organizations also filed a lawsuit against the CBN over the levy.

The federal government confirmed the suspension of the levy on Tuesday after a two-day Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by President Tinubu5. The levy is currently undergoing review and has been put on hold for now.

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