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Banks to Impose Cybersecurity Levy on Nigerians

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed deposit money banks in the country to levy a 0.5% cybersecurity charge on transactions, as outlined in a circular dated May 6, 2024.

This directive applies to all commercial, merchant, non-interest, and payment service banks, as well as mobile money operators and payment service providers.

The levy, in compliance with the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) (Amendment) Act 2024, mandates financial institutions to remit 0.5% of all electronic transaction values to the National Cybersecurity Fund (NCF), administered by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).

Effective two weeks from the circular’s issuance date, the levy will be applied at the point of electronic transfer origination, deducted by financial institutions, and reflected in customers’ accounts with the description, ‘Cybersecurity Levy.’

Monthly remittances of collected levies to the NCF account domiciled at the CBN are required by the fifth business day of every subsequent month.

However, certain transactions such as loan disbursements and repayments, salary payments, and intra-account transfers within and between banks for the same customer are exempt from this levy, as well as inter-branch transfers within a bank and cheque clearing and settlements, among others.

This move by the CBN reflects efforts to bolster cybersecurity measures in the financial sector, ensuring the protection of electronic transactions against cyber threats and attacks.

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