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House of Reps halt implementation of cybercrime levy

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House of Representatives has directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to immediately halt the implementation of the cybersecurity levy in compliance with the provisions of the cybercrime Act.

At its plenary today May 9, the House said the circular by the CBN was prone to misinterpretation by Nigerians as it negates the spirit and letters of section 44(2a) of the cybercrime Act which specify those who are expected to pay the levy. The house adopted a motion of urgent public importance moved by Minority Leader, Kingsley Chinda (PDP, Rivers) on behalf of the entire lawmakers.

The House asked the Central Bank to immediately withdraw its earlier circular on the implementation of the levy and issue a more understable one.

Chinda argued that section 44(2a) of the cybercrime act listed those to pay the stipulated fees as GSM and telecom companies, Internet providers, Banks and other financial institutions, insurance companies and Stocks Exchange.

He explained that the circular from the CBN has raised apprehension across the country as it has given the impression that the levy is to be paid by Nigerians in an era when they are still battling with increase in price of petroleum products among others.

The apex bank in a circular dated May 6, 2024 ordered all commercial, merchant, non-interest and payment service banks as well as mobile money operators and payment service providers to start charging 0.5% cybersecurity levy on some transactions done by their customers. The apex bank said the new levy, expected to kick off in two weeks time, will not be applied on transactions such as loan disbursements and repayments, salary payments, intra-account transfers within the same bank or between different banks for the same customer, intra-bank transfers between customers of the same bank.

 

 

 

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