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Why the Cybersecurity levy has been put on hold



Why the Cybersecurity levy has been put on hold

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has directed the suspension of the implementation of the cybersecurity levy outlined in the Cybersecurity Act 2015, which was unveiled by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The decision, made by the President, aims to alleviate the financial burden on citizens who are already grappling with economic hardships.

The Act 2015, as per Section 44(2) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc.) Act 2015, seeks to enhance cybersecurity measures in Nigeria.

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

However, the implementation of the levy faced scrutiny, with concerns raised about its potential impact on individuals and businesses. Senator Shehu Buba, chairman of the Senate Committee on National Security and Intelligence, clarified that the levy was primarily targeted at financial institutions and telecoms firms, among others, rather than individuals.

Contrary to earlier reports suggesting that the President directed the CBN to halt the levy’s implementation, it was clarified that Tinubu’s directive was aimed at suspending its execution by the ONSA. Presidential sources emphasized Tinubu’s commitment to the rule of law and his recognition of the autonomy of the CBN.

The decision to suspend the levy’s implementation reflects Tinubu’s sensitivity to public opinion and his desire to prevent undue financial strain on businesses and citizens. While acknowledging the importance of bolstering cyber security measures in the face of escalating threats, Tinubu underscored the need for effective strategies to safeguard the nation’s digital infrastructure.

The cybersecurity levy, although intended to support counterterrorism efforts and enhance cyber security capabilities, will undergo a review process to ensure its alignment with the broader economic and social welfare objectives of the nation.