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Why Tinubu Suspended Cybersecurity Levy Implementation – Presidency Source Reveals

Posted by Amarachi on Mon 13th May, 2024 -

The President made this decision to avoid overburdening citizens who were already facing economic hardship.

President Tinubu

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu

The cybersecurity levy implementation outlined in the Cybersecurity Act 2015 has been suspended by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

The President made this decision to avoid overburdening citizens who were already facing economic hardship.

Earlier, the CBN had given an implementation guideline to all commercial, merchant, non-interest, and payment service banks, other financial institutions, mobile money operators, and payment service providers regarding collecting and remittance of the national cybersecurity levy.

According to Section 44(2) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc.) Act 2015, the guidance aims to improve cybersecurity measures in Nigeria.

It mandated the imposition of a levy on electronic transactions, with the proceeds paid into the National Cybersecurity Fund (NCF) under the administration of the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).

However, on Sunday, the Senate Committee on National Security and Intelligence chairman, Senator Shehu Buba, said the cybersecurity levy was not targeted at individuals but meant for financial institutions and telecoms firms, among others.

Presidential sources informed THISDAY that the President did not direct the CBN to halt the implementation of the cybersecurity levy, contrary to a report earlier in the day.

Instead of implementing the directive, Tinubu, who valued the rule of law and recognized the autonomy of the CBN, merely instructed the National Security Adviser to suspend its execution, according to the source.

The source, who pleaded anonymity, said, “The cybersecurity levy is not a CBN action. CBN only issued circular to banks to commence implementation as a regulator. It is an action of the NSA.

“The directive to stop implementation is to ONSA. There will be internal communication between ONSA on how to carry out the presidential directive.”

The source said Tinubu was not insensitive to public opinion, “which informed why he does not want to overburden businesses and citizens with extra levy.

“Though the intention of the law is good and what it seeks to achieve with heightened cybersecurity threats, it is important as a country we have capability to build strong firewalls around the nation’s database and government and corporate organisations’ online infrastructure against hackers.

“The levy is also designed to fund counterterrorism efforts of the federal government.”

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