House of Representatives Directs CBN to Suspend Cybercrime Levy on Electronic Transactions

The House of Representatives has instructed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to halt the proposed implementation of the cybercrime levy of 0.5% on electronic transactions. This directive comes in response to concerns raised regarding the ambiguity of the circular issued by the CBN and its potential impact on Nigerian businesses and citizens.

In a motion of urgent public importance moved by the House Minority Leader, Kingsley Chinda, and supported by 359 other members, the House mandated the CBN to withdraw the existing circular and issue a new one that aligns with the provisions of the Cybercrimes (Amendment) Act, 2024.

Chinda highlighted that the circular, dated May 6, 2024, announced the proposed levy on electronic transactions in line with Section 44(2)(a) of the Cybercrimes (Amendment) Act, 2024. However, concerns were raised over the interpretation of the circular, particularly regarding whether the levy should be borne by bank customers, contrary to the provisions of the Cybercrimes Act.

The motion expressed apprehension among Civil Society Organisations and citizens, who have voiced opposition to the levy, citing its potential to further burden Nigerians already grappling with economic challenges such as subsidy removals and rising inflation.

In light of these concerns, the House directed its Committees on Banking Regulations and Banking and other Ancillary Institutions to provide guidance to the CBN and ensure compliance with the Cybercrimes Act.

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