CBN Retracts Directive On Circular On Cybersecurity Levy

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has retracted its directive requiring banks and payment service providers to collect and remit a cybersecurity levy as outlined in the Cybercrime Prevention and Prohibition Amendment Act of 2024. The reversal was announced in a revised circular dated May 17, 2024.

The circular, signed by Chibuzor Efobi, Director of Payment Systems Management, and Haruna Mustafa, Director of Financial Policy and Regulation Department, was addressed to commercial banks, payment service providers (PSPs), non-interest banks, and other financial institutions. The document, titled “Re: Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, Etc.) (Amendment) Act 2024 – Implementation Guidance on the Collection and Remittance of the National Cybersecurity Levy,” was obtained by PUNCH Online on Sunday.

The circular stated: “The Central Bank of Nigeria circular dated May 6, 2024 (Ref: PSMD/DIR/PUB/LAB/017/004) on the above subject refers. Further to this, please be advised that the above-referenced circular is hereby withdrawn.”

The initial directive, issued on May 6, 2024, faced significant backlash from various stakeholders across the country. The opposition to the levy led to the Presidency suspending its implementation, with the Federal Executive Council citing the need for further review of the law’s provisions.

This decision comes as a response to the concerns raised by banks, payment service providers, and the general public regarding the potential impact of the levy on the financial sector and its customers. The suspension and subsequent retraction aim to allow for a more comprehensive evaluation of the cybersecurity levy and its implications.

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