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Reverse cybersecurity levy or meet us in court, SERAP warns FG

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The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project has issued a stern ultimatum to the Federal Government, demanding the withdrawal of the 0.5% ‘cybersecurity levy’ imposed on Nigerians within 48 hours.

In a statement posted on its official handle, SERAP condemned the directive by the Central Bank of Nigeria as “grossly unlawful” and threatened legal action if the directive is not rescinded.

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“The Tinubu administration must immediately withdraw the grossly unlawful CBN directive to implement section 44 of the Cybercrime Act 2024, which imposes a 0.5% ‘cybersecurity levy’ on Nigerians. We’ll see in court if the directive is not withdrawn within 48 hours,” the statement read.

The directive by the CBN, issued in a circular on Monday, mandates banks to impose a 0.5% cybersecurity charge on electronic transactions, effective May 20, 2024.

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Under the directive, the levy will be separately reflected in the customer’s account as “Cybersecurity Levy” and will be applied at the point of electronic transfer origination, then deducted and remitted by the financial institution.

SERAP’s move comes as a response to growing concerns over the implications of the levy on Nigerians, with the organization emphasizing the need for the government to uphold the rights and interests of its citizens.

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