Nigeria suspends cybersecurity levy


According to reports from local media, Nigeria has opted to halt the proposed cybersecurity levy on domestic money transfers, as announced by Information Minister Mohammed Idris. He stated that “The implementation has been directed by the government to be put on hold.”

Idris further explained that the new levy was initially intended as part of efforts to address issues related to cryptocurrency, which authorities have attributed to Nigeria’s currency weakness.

“The cybersecurity tax policy implementation has been directed by the government to be put on hold, so it has been suspended,” reiterated Idris.

The decision comes after civil society groups voiced opposition to the introduction of the levy. The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) expressed concerns about the timing of the recently introduced 0.5 percent cybersecurity levy on electronic transactions by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Following this, the CBN reportedly issued a circular to various financial institutions, including commercial, merchant, non-interest, and payment service banks, announcing the cybersecurity levy.

In a statement, the NESG urged the federal government to reconsider the levy due to concerns over multiple taxation and inflationary pressures burdening Nigerians. They highlighted that amidst escalating inflation and financial exclusion, the timing of the cybersecurity levy is inappropriate given the current cost of living crisis and increased currency circulation.