Nigerian Central Bank Mandates 0.5% Cybersecurity Levy on Transactions

By Milcah Tanimu

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has issued a directive instructing deposit money banks across the country to implement a 0.5% cybersecurity levy on transactions.

Outlined in a circular dated May 6, 2024, addressed to all commercial, merchant, non-interest, and payment service banks, as well as mobile money operators and payment service providers, the levy stems from the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) (amendment) Act 2024. According to Section 44 (2) (a) of the Act, a levy equivalent to 0.5% of all electronic transactions’ value by specified businesses listed in the Second Schedule of the Act must be remitted to the National Cybersecurity Fund (NCF), administered by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).

The CBN stated that the levy’s implementation would commence two weeks from the circular’s date. It clarified that the levy would be applied at the origin of electronic transfers, deducted by financial institutions, and remitted to the NCF account domiciled at the CBN by the fifth business day of every subsequent month.

The circular specified exemptions from the levy, including loan disbursements and repayments, salary payments, intra-account transfers within the same bank or between different banks for the same customer, inter-bank transfers between customers of the same bank, inter-branch transfers within a bank, cheque clearing and settlements, Letters of Credits, banks’ recapitalization-related funding, bulk funds movement from collection accounts, savings, deposits, and transactions involving long-term investments, among others.

Recently, the CBN had also halted fintech firms like Opay and Palmpay from onboarding new customers and mandated banks to deduct a 0.375% stamp duty charge on all mortgage-backed loans and bonds.


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