FG Confirms Suspension of Cybersecurity Levy

The federal government has officially halted the enforcement of the cybersecurity levy, following recent announcements. Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, conveyed this decision after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting chaired by President Bola Tinubu at the Presidential Villa in Abuja. The 0.5% levy on electronic transactions has been paused to allow for a thorough review, as stated by Idris, emphasizing the government’s intention not to further burden Nigerians during challenging times.

This suspension comes after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) issued a circular on May 6, 2024, instructing banks, mobile money operators, and payment service providers to initiate the levy’s implementation. The levy, mandated by the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc.) (Amendment) Act 2024, entails 0.5 percent of the value of electronic transactions, earmarked for remittance to the National Cybersecurity Fund overseen by the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA).

In response to inquiries regarding the levy’s status, Minister Idris confirmed its discussion during the FEC meeting and subsequent resolution for its suspension pending further review. This decision underscores the government’s commitment to alleviating financial pressure on citizens amidst existing economic challenges.

“The President is not insensitive to the feelings of Nigerians, and it was agreed that the policy be suspended while we work out a review of modalities for its implementation,” the minister added.

Outcry followed the announcement by the CBN, with critics including the House of Representatives questioning its timing.