Thu. May 23rd, 2024

By Ojukwu Emmanuel Chiadikaobi

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced the enforcement of a 0.005 percent Cybersecurity Levy on electronic transfers, effective within the next two weeks. This directive, outlined in a circular issued by Uzoma Efobi, the Director of Payment Services at CBN, applies to all banks and payment service operators across the country.

The levy, to be deducted at the transaction origination point, will contribute to the Cybersecurity Fund managed by the CBN. The apex bank has emphasized that failure to comply could result in fines of up to two percent of the institution’s annual turnover.

Interbank transfers and loan transactions are exempted from this cybersecurity levy, as outlined in the circular. This development is a follow-up to previous correspondences dated June 25, 2018, and October 5, 2018, regarding compliance with the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc.) Act 2015.

The recent enactment of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc.) (amendment) Act 2024, under Section 44 (2)(a), mandates a levy of 0.5 percent (0.005) on the value of all electronic transactions. These funds are to be remitted to the National Cybersecurity Fund, overseen by the Office of the National Security Adviser.

CBN has instructed that the deducted amount must be clearly indicated in customers’ accounts with the narration, ‘Cybersecurity Levy.’ This measure aims to ensure transparency and accountability in the levy collection process.

The implementation of the cybersecurity levy follows closely on the heels of the Federal Government’s introduction of a Stamp Duty deduction just a week ago. Deposit Money Banks are now tasked with deducting a 0.375 percent stamp duty charge on all mortgage-backed loans and bonds, further adding to the financial landscape’s regulatory framework.

With these recent fiscal measures, the government and regulatory bodies are demonstrating a commitment to enhancing cybersecurity and fiscal transparency within Nigeria’s financial ecosystem. These initiatives are expected to bolster the country’s resilience against cyber threats while ensuring sustainable revenue generation for national security efforts.

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