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CBN Directs Banks to Implement 0.5% Cybersecurity Levy on Transactions

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has issued a directive instructing deposit money banks (DMBs) and other financial institutions in the country to commence the implementation of a 0.5% cybersecurity levy on electronic transactions.
In a circular dated May 6, 2024, addressed to all commercial, merchant, non-interest, and payment service banks, as well as mobile money operators and payment service providers, the apex bank outlined the details of the levy as stipulated in the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) (Amendment) Act 2024.
“Following the enactment of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) (amendment) Act 2024 and pursuant to the provision of Section 44 (2) (a) of the Act, ‘a levy of 0.5% (0.005) equivalent to a half percent 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 (NCF), which shall be administered by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA),” the circular partly read.
The apex bank said that the implementation of the levy would start two weeks from the date of the circular.
“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,” the circular added.
Furthermore, the circular outlined specific exemptions from the levy, including loan disbursements and repayments, salary payments, intra-account transfers within the same bank or between different banks for the same customer, inter-branch transfers within a bank, cheque clearing and settlements, among others.
Notably, fintech firms such as Opay and Palmpay were recently restricted from onboarding new customers by the CBN. Additionally, banks were directed to deduct a 0.375% stamp duty charge on all mortgage-backed loans and bonds.
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