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Nigerians to pay more As CBN directs banks to impose 0.5% cybersecurity levy on all transactions

Nigerians to pay more As CBN directs banks to impose 0.5% cybersecurity levy on all transactions

The Central Bank of Nigeria has ordered banks operating in the country to start charging a cybersecurity levy on transactions.

A circular from the apex bank on Monday disclosed that the implementation of the levy would start two weeks from today.

The circular was directed to all commercial, merchant, non-interest and payment service banks, among others.

The circular revealed that it was a follow-up on an earlier letter dated June 25, 2018 (Ref: BPS/DIR/GEN/CIR/05/008) and October 5, 2018 (Ref: BSD/DIR/GEN/LAB/11/023), respectively, on compliance with the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, Etc.) Act 2015.

The recent public engagements by the Office of the National Security Adviser on the above subject, also refers.

Following the enactment of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) (amendment) Act 2024 and under the provision of Section 44 (2)(a) of the Act, a levy of 0.5 per cent (0.005) equivalent to a half per cent of all electronic transactions value by the business specified in the Second Schedule of the Act, is to be remitted to the National Cybersecurity Fund which shall be administered by the Office of the National Security Adviser.

The CBN said that all banks, other financial institutions and payment service providers are now required to implement the directive, saying, “The levy shall be applied at the point of electronic transfer origination, then deducted and remitted by the financial institution. The deducted amount shall be reflected in the customer’s account with the narration, ‘Cybersecurity Levy’.

“Deductions shall commence within two weeks from the date of this circular for all financial institutions and the monthly remittance of the levies collected in bulk to the NCF account domiciled at the CBN by the fifth business day of every subsequent month.”

Exempted from the levy include loan disbursements and repayments, salary payments, intra-account transfers within the same bank or between different banks for the same customer, intra-bank transfers between customers of the same bank.

Also exempted from the levy were inter-branch transfers within a bank, cheque clearing and settlements, ⁠Letters of Credits, ⁠Banks’ recapitalisation-related funding only bulk funds movement from collection accounts, savings and deposits including transactions involving long-term investments, among others.

The CBN, in recent times, has been making an effort to sanitise the financial sector. It recently issued a directive which barred fintechs from onboarding new customers.

The fintechs have in turn warned their customers against engaging in crypto transactions on their platforms.

This also comes barely a week after the Federal Government had directed Deposit Money Banks to immediately begin the deduction of 0.375 per cent stamp duty charge on all mortgaged-backed loans and bonds.

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