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Nigerians to pay 0.5% cybersecurity levy on bank transactions

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Banks in Nigeria will soon introduce a 0.5% cybersecurity levy on electronic transactions, as directed by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The directive, conveyed in a circular dated May 6, 2024, applies to all deposit money banks, merchant banks, non-interest banks, payment service banks, mobile money operators, and payment service providers.

According to the circular, the levy is in line with the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) (amendment) Act 2024, with Section 44 (2) (a) stipulating the remittance of 0.5% of all electronic transaction values to the National Cybersecurity Fund (NCF), under the supervision of the Office of the National Security Adviser\\.

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“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’,” the circular explained.

It further stated that the levy implementation would commence two weeks from the circular’s date, with deductions to be remitted monthly to the NCF account domiciled at the CBN by the fifth business day of each subsequent month.

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Transactions 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, among others.

This move by the CBN aligns with its recent efforts to enhance cybersecurity measures in the financial sector.

Earlier directives included barring fintechs from onboarding new customers and warning against engaging in cryptocurrency transactions.

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