CBN Exempts 16 Items from Cybersecurity Levy, Including Salary, Loans, and Donations



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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced the exemption of 16 crucial items from the 0.5 percent Cybersecurity levy on electronic transactions, providing relief for certain financial activities.

Initially introduced to combat the escalating threats of cybercrime in the financial sector, the levy will see banks charging 0.5% on transactions, with the deducted funds remitted to the National Cybersecurity Fund (NCF), administered by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).

As outlined in a circular released by the apex bank, certain transactions are now excluded from the levy to ensure smooth operations in various sectors. Among the exempted transactions are loan disbursements and repayments, salary payments, intra-account transfers within and between banks for the same customer, and instructions from Other Financial Institutions (OFIs) to their correspondent banks.

Additionally, interbank placements, transfers to and from the CBN, inter-branch transfers within a bank, cheque clearing, and settlements, as well as transactions involving savings, deposits, and long-term investments such as treasury bills and bonds, have been spared from the levy’s imposition.

Furthermore, exemptions extend to government social welfare programs like pension payments, non-profit and charitable transactions, educational institution transactions, and internal bank account operations.

The circular also emphasizes the consequences of non-compliance, highlighting that failure to remit the levy constitutes an offense punishable by a fine of not less than two percent of the defaulting business’s annual turnover, among other penalties.

The introduction of this levy aligns with the recent amendment to the Cybercrime Act signed into law by President Bola Tinubu in February 2024. Sponsored by Senator Shehu Umar Buba, the amendment seeks to enhance Nigeria’s cybersecurity efforts by providing necessary funding and addressing gaps in the legislation to combat cyber threats effectively.

Senator Buba, Chairman of the Senate Committee on National Intelligence and Security, emphasized the importance of the amendment in strengthening Nigeria’s digital economy and cybersecurity framework to mitigate the risks posed by organized cyber syndicates and adversaries. He stressed the need for adequate funding and legislative adjustments to align with evolving cybersecurity challenges.

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Charles Akpeji
Charles Akpeji
Charles Akpeji has over 20 years experience in journalism and he is Naija247news Taraba Correspondent. He lives and works from Jalingo, the state capital.

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