Cyber security levy: Senate allays fears of Nigerians, Tinubu orders suspension 

The Senate Sunday allayed fears of ordinary Nigerians on cyber security levy even as President Bola Tinubu, ordered the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to suspend implementation of the levy for required review.

The CBN had in line with relevant provisions of Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention etc , Amendment) Act 2024, on 6th of this month,  imposes 0.5 percent levy on financial institutions and telecoms on all electronic transactions.

Though CBN in the circular announcing the levy  exempted some transactions from the cybercrime levy, including loan disbursements and repayments, salary payments, intra-account transfers, and other financial transactions, but the levy generated controversy in the corporate world and fears in the minds of individual operators before President Tinubu ordered for suspension of the levy on Saturday.

Apparently allaying the fears of individual operators in the sector, the Senate through its chairman, Committee on National Security and Intelligence , Senator Shehu Umar Buba ( APC Bauchi South), in a personally signed statement in Abuja  Sunday, said the levy aimed at financial institutions, telecoms and not individuals like ordinary bank customers.

Senator Buba who sponsored the bill that gave birth to the law ,  said  the levy is aimed explicitly at financial institutions and telecom companies, the most vulnerable sectors to financial crimes and cyber fraud, to enhance cybersecurity measures and national security in the country.

He noted that the relevant section of the Cybercrime Act is very clear about the businesses that are required to pay the levy, not the citizens.

“The act is very explicit about who is responsible for the payment, not Nigerian citizens or individuals.”