CBN Directs Banks, Others To Begin Collection Of 0.5% Cybersecurity Levy


By Sunday Etuka, Abuja

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed all Commercial Banks, Other Financial Institutions and Payments Service Providers in the country to begin deduction of 0.005 percent from all electronic transactions as National Cybersecurity Levy.

CBN conveyed the directive in a Circular number: PSM/DlR/PUB/LAB/017/004 signed and issued on Monday, May 6, 2024 by the Director, Payments System Management Department, Chibuzo Efobi and Director, Financial Policy and Regulations Department, Haruna Mustafa.

CBN said, “following the enactment of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) (amendment) Act 2024 and pursuant to the provision of Section 44 (2)(a) of the Act, “a levy of 0.5% (0.005) equivalent to a half percent of all electronic transactions value by the business specified in the Second Schedule of the Act’, is to be remitted to the National Cybersecurity Fund (NCF), which shall be administered by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA)”.

The apex bank said, “the levy shall be applied at the point of electronic transfer origination, then deducted and remitted by the financial institution.

“The deducted amount shall be reflected in the customer’s account with the narration: “Cybersecurity Levy”.

“Deductions shall commence within two (2) weeks from the date of this circular for all financial institutions and the monthly remittance of the levies collected in bulk to the NCF account domiciled at the CBN by the 5th business day of every subsequent month.

“System reconfigurations towards ensuring complete and timely submission of remittance files to the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) Plc shall be completed as follows: Within four (4) weeks of this circular – Commercial, Merchant, NonInterest and Payment Service Banks; and Mobile Money Operators. Within eight (8) weeks of this circular — all Other Financial Institutions (Microfinance banks, Primary Mortgage banks, Development Finance Institutions).

“Exemptions – To avoid multiple application of the levy on the same transaction/transfer, Appendix 1 (attached) captures transactions currently deemed eligible and are exempted from the application of lhe levy.

“Penalties for Non-compliance
Section 44 (8) of the Act prescribes that failure to remit the levy is an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of not less than 2% of the annual turnover of the defaulting business, amongst others.

“Finally, all institutions under the regulatory purview of the CBN are hereby directed to note and comply with the provisions of the Act and this circular”, CBN said.

It, however, exempted the following from the levey: “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, Other Financial Institutions (OFls) instructions to their correspondent banks, Interbank placements, Banks’ transfers to CBN and vice-versa, Inter-branch transfers within a bank, Cheques clearing and settlements, Letters of Credits (LCS), Banks’ recapitalization related funding – only bulk funds movement from collection accounts, Savings and deposits including transactions involving long-term investments such as Treasury Bills, Bonds, and Commercial Papers.

“Government Social Welfare Programs transactions e.g. Pension payments, Non-profit and charitable transactions including donations to registered nonprofit organisations or charities.

“Educational Institutions transactions, including tuition payments and other transaction involving schools, universities, or other educational institutions.

“Transactions involving bank’s internal accounts such as suspense accounts, clearing accounts, profit and loss accounts, inter-branch accounts, reserve accounts, nostro and vostro accounts, and escrow accounts”.

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