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CBN Orders Banks to Charge Customers a 0.5% Levy to Fund NSA Cybersecurity Program

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CBN Orders Banks to Charge Customers a 0.5% Levy to Fund NSA Cybersecurity Program

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) issued an order directing commercial banks to charge customers a 0.5% deductible levies to help fund the National Cybersecurity Fund for the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) to the President on tackling counter-terrorism.

This directive by the CBN follows the order of the NSA, which requested on Friday that the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc.) Amendment Act 2024 be fully implemented.

Following Ribadu’s order, the CBN has issued a directive to all commercial banks operating in Nigeria to start charging a cybersecurity levy on all transactions with few exemptions.

In a circular issued on Monday, the CBN has made it clear that this directive applies to all banks, financial institutions, and payment service providers. This means that all these entities are now obligated to implement the directive.

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’, says CBN.

However, this directive also applies to letters dated 25 June 2018 and October 5, 2018, referenced in the CBN circular as BPS/DIR/GEN/CIR/05/008 and BSD/DIR/GEN/LAB/11/023, respectively.

The letter and circular follow the implementation of Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc.) Amendment Act 2024 under the provision of Section 44 (2)(a) of the Act, which states:

A levy of 0.5% (0.005), equivalent to half per cent of the value of all electronic transactions 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).

CBN ‘Cybersecurity Levy’ Exemption list

Meanwhile, the CBN, in recent times, in all efforts to sanitise the financial sector, issued several directives, one of which barred fintech companies, including Opay, Palmpay, etc., from onboarding new customers and a ban on crypto-related transactions, all of which have received public criticism bothering on financial restraints.

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