Why Tinubu Suspended 0.5% Cybersecurity Levy

Mohammed Idris, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, announced that President Bola Tinubu has suspended the 0.5 per cent cybersecurity levy on electronic transactions in the country.

He disclosed this to journalists shortly after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Tuesday.

Idris revealed that Tinubu directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to halt the implementation and reassess the modalities for executing the levy.

The minister said Tinubu ordered the suspension following deliberations by FEC members, noting that it is currently under review. “The government’s stance is that the policy has been suspended. It has been placed on hold. That is the current position of the government. It is undergoing a review process. So, I can confirm that the cybersecurity levy has been suspended and is undergoing review by the government.”

WikkiTimes recalls that 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 bank said the implementation was in line with the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) (Amendment) Act 2024, which required a levy of 0.5% on all electronic transactions.

The money was to be remitted to the National Cybersecurity Fund overseen by the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA).

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However, Nigerians rejected it, accusing the government of not being sensitive to their plight, particularly at this time of inflation which caused a lot of hardship in people’s livelihood.

The House of Representatives had on May 9, tasked the CBN to withdraw the directive following the adoption of a motion sponsored by Kingsley Chinda, the House minority leader, and 359 other lawmakers.

The lawmakers also argued that the circular was ambiguous.

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