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  • News - North Central - FCT
  • Updated: May 09, 2024

NEF opposes CBN's Cybersecurity levy

NEF opposes CBN's Cybersecurity levy

The Northern Elders Forum, NEF, has opposed the recently announced cybersecurity levy on bank customers by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.

The socio-cultural organisation, described the CBN’s directive as arbitrary, illegal, and out of touch with the realities faced by Nigerians.

A statement released by its Director of Publicity and Advocacy, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, the forum expressed its dissatisfaction with the policy, citing the escalating costs associated with banking transactions as a result of multiple charges.

The forum called on the government to reconsider the policy and explore alternative measures to ease the financial strain on individuals while still promoting the use of electronic payments.

It pointed out that the introduction of cybersecurity levies, in addition to existing fees such as stamp duty, transfer fees, value-added tax, and SMS charges, has placed an unbearable financial burden on individuals engaging in electronic transactions.

The forum highlighted the various charges that bank customers now face, including cybersecurity levies ranging from ₦5 on ₦1,000 to ₦50,000 on ₦10,000,000 transactions, transfer fees, stamp duty, and value-added tax.

NEF averred that these additional costs have significantly increased the overall expense of electronic transactions for both senders and receivers.

While acknowledging the importance of cybersecurity in safeguarding electronic transactions, the NEF emphasised that the need for a more balanced approach that ensures the costs of security measures are reasonable and do not excessively burden bank customers.

The NEF noted that in a country already grappling with economic challenges and hyper inflammatory conditions, additional financial burden imposed by the cybersecurity levy is unjust and unfair, and urged the government and relevant stakeholders to find a sustainable solution that strikes a fair balance between enhancing cybersecurity and alleviating the financial strain on the Nigerian populace.

“It is imperative that the administration takes into account the concerns raised by a vast majority of Nigerians and prioritises policies that protect the interests of the people while also fostering economic growth and development,” NEF said.

The forum’s stance highlights the importance of considering the impact of regulations on ordinary citizens and advocating for measures that promote financial inclusion and alleviate economic challenges.

“It is crucial that the government listens to the concerns of organisations like the NEF and works towards implementing policies that benefit all Nigerians, rather than burdening them with additional costs and hardships.

“It is essential to strike a delicate balance between enhancing cybersecurity and easing the financial burden on the populace, particularly at a time when the Nigerian economy is facing significant challenges due to inflation and other economic factors,” Suleiman said.

It urged the authorities and relevant stakeholders to engage in meaningful review and find a solution that addresses the legitimate concerns raised by the public regarding the cybersecurity levy

 

 

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