IMF Urges Nigeria to Develop Robust Cybersecurity Framework Amid Concerns Over Cybercrime Levy

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has called on the Nigerian government to establish a “robust and adequate” framework to address cybercrime in the financial sector. Christian Ebeke, the IMF’s resident representative for Nigeria, emphasized the critical importance of cybersecurity during a virtual media briefing on Nigeria’s Article IV Consultation staff report.

Ebeke highlighted the significant financial instability repercussions associated with cybercrime, noting that Africa loses an estimated $4 billion annually to cybercrime, with projections indicating a potential surge to $12 trillion by next year. He underscored the need for Nigeria to take proactive measures in designing effective frameworks and regulations to combat cybersecurity threats.

While acknowledging the House of Representatives’ motion to pause the implementation of the cybersecurity levy, Ebeke stressed the seriousness of the issue and encouraged authorities to prioritize the development of comprehensive cybersecurity frameworks. He emphasized the importance of collaboration between government agencies and stakeholders to address this critical issue affecting the financial sector.

The Central Bank of Nigeria recently directed banks and financial institutions to implement a 0.5 percent cybersecurity levy on electronic transfers to fund the national cybersecurity fund. However, concerns raised by labor groups, the Organised Private Sector, and the House of Representatives have prompted calls for the reversal of the directive.


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