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  • News - North Central - FCT
  • Updated: May 12, 2024

Tinubu reportedly orders CBN to suspend cybersecurity levy

Tinubu reportedly orders CBN to suspend cybersecurity levy

Nigerian President, Bola Tinubu has  asked the Central Bank of Nigeria to suspend the implementation of the controversial cybersecurity levy policy and ordered a review.

The suspension is after the decision of the House of Representatives, which, last Thursday, asked the CBN to withdraw its circular directing all banks to commence charging a 0.5 per cent cybersecurity levy on all electronic transactions in the country.

There has also been widespread condemnation of the levy by Nigerians, including several top opposition politicians figures.

It will be recalled that the CBN on May 6, 2024, issued a circular mandating all banks, mobile money operators, and payment service providers to implement a new cybersecurity levy, following the provisions laid out in the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) (Amendment) Act 2024.

According to a report by The Punch, sources with knowledge of Tinubu’s position on the issue, said the President was aware of the economic burden on Nigerians since his hardline economic reforms began last May, adding that he did not want to risk adding to the burden with more levies.

A senior presidency official quoted in the report but preferred not to be named, said: “The President is sensitive to what Nigerians feel. And he will not want to proceed with implementing a policy that adds to the burden of the people.

“So, he has asked the CBN to hold off on that policy and ordered a review. I would have said he ordered the CBN, but that is not appropriate because the CBN is autonomous. But he has asked the CBN to hold off on it and review things again.”

Another presidency official quoted in the report, said these discrepancies prompted the President to order a review.

“If you look at it, the law predates the Tinubu administration. It was enacted in 2015 and signed by Goodluck Jonathan. It is only being implemented now.

“You know he (Tinubu) was not around when that directive was being circulated. And he does not want to present his government as being insensitive. As it is now, the CBN has held off the instruction to banks to start charging people. So, the President is sensitive. His goal is not to just tax Nigerians like that. That is not his intention. So, he has ordered a review of that law.”

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