Cybersecurity Levy: Senate allays fears of Nigerians, Tinubu orders suspension – Blueprint Newspapers Limited

The Senate on Sunday allayed the fears of ordinary Nigerians over the cybersecurity levy even as President Bola Tinubu directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to suspend the implementation of the levy pending necessary review.

The CBN, in line with the relevant provisions of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention etc, Amendment) Act 2024, imposed a 0.5 percent levy on financial institutions and telecommunications companies on all electronic transactions on the 6th of this month.

Although CBN, in the circular announcing the levy, exempted some transactions from the cybercrime levy, including loan disbursements and repayments, salary payments, intra-account transfers and other financial transactions, the levy sparked controversy in the corporate world and fears in the minds of individual operators before President Tinubu on Saturday ordered the suspension of the levy.

In an apparent attempt to allay the fears of individual operators in the sector, the Senate through its Chairman, National Security and Intelligence Committee, Senator Shehu Umar Buba (APC Bauchi South), in a personally signed statement on Sunday in Abuja, stated that the levy on Targets financial institutions, telecommunications and not individuals like regular bank customers.

Senator Buba, who sponsored the bill that gave birth to the law, said the levy specifically targets financial institutions and telecommunications companies most affected by financial crimes and cyber frauds in order to enhance cybersecurity measures and national security in the country.

He pointed out that the relevant section of the Cybercrime Act makes it very clear which companies are liable to pay the levy, and not citizens.

“The law makes it very clear who is responsible for the payment, not Nigerian citizens or individuals.”