Nigeria’s Central Bank Mandates 0.5% Cybersecurity Levy on Electronic Transfers

In a bid to bolster cybersecurity measures in Nigeria’s financial sector, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has issued a directive imposing a 0.5 percent levy on electronic transfers. This move, detailed in a circular issued by the CBN Director of Payment Services, Uzoma Efobi, is slated to take effect within the next two weeks.

The circular, addressed to all banks and payment services operators across the country, stipulates that the levy will be deducted at the point of transaction origination. These deductions will then be aggregated and channeled into the Cybersecurity Fund held by the CBN. The apex bank has also issued a stern warning, indicating that any defaulting institution could face fines amounting to no less than two percent of its annual turnover.

However, the directive offers exemptions for interbank transfers and loan transactions. This strategic exemption is aimed at streamlining the levy’s impact on routine financial activities while ensuring that critical cybersecurity initiatives are adequately funded.

This recent circular builds upon earlier correspondences dated June 25, 2018 (Ref: BPS/DIR/GEN/CIR/05/008), and October 5, 2018 (Ref: BSD/DIR/GEN/LAB/11/023), which emphasized compliance with the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, Etc.) Act 2015. The CBN underscored that the directive aligns with the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc.) (amendment) Act 2024. Section 44 (2)(a) of the Act mandates a levy of 0.5 percent (0.005), equivalent to half a percent of all electronic transaction values by businesses specified in the Second Schedule of the Act. These funds are to be remitted to the National Cybersecurity Fund, which will be administered by the Office of the National Security Adviser.

This move signals Nigeria’s proactive stance in addressing the growing threat landscape of cybercrimes, especially within the financial ecosystem. By harnessing levies from electronic transactions, the country aims to fortify its cybersecurity infrastructure, thereby safeguarding financial assets and bolstering consumer confidence in digital transactions.

the authorAV1 NEWS

Leave a Reply