BrandArena: Nigerian Banks, PSPs to Commence Collection and Remittance of Cybersecurity Levy

Tuesday 7 May 2024

Nigerian Banks, PSPs to Commence Collection and Remittance of Cybersecurity Levy

In response to escalating concerns surrounding cyber threats targeting Nigeria's rapidly expanding digital economy, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has issued a directive mandating all commercial banks and Payment Service Providers (PSPs) to commence collection and remittance of a newly introduced cybersecurity levy.

Set at 0.5% of the value of all electronic transactions, the levy will contribute to the National Cybersecurity Fund managed by the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA). In a circular titled "Compliance with the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act 2024: Collection and Remittance of Levy for the National Cybersecurity Fund," the CBN delineated the levy's implementation particulars.

The initiative underscores the Nigerian government's proactive stance in fortifying digital defences. The funds generated through the National Cybersecurity Fund will be allocated towards critical cybersecurity endeavours. This includes upgrading cybersecurity infrastructure, enhancing technological capabilities, fostering the development of a skilled cybersecurity workforce, and promoting public awareness initiatives to educate citizens and businesses about cyber threats and best practices.

Banks and PSPs are expected to kick off levy collection within two weeks of the circular's issuance, with the CBN cautioning non-compliant entities of penalties equivalent to no less than 2% of their turnover.

To facilitate transparency, the cybersecurity levy will be delineated as a distinct charge labeled "Cybersecurity Levy" on customer transaction statements. Though the levy's impact on individual transactions may be modest, it is anticipated to generate substantial resources to support national cybersecurity initiatives.

The introduction of the new levy has evoked varied responses within the business community. While some recognize the imperative of robust cybersecurity measures, others express apprehensions regarding the potential economic burden on businesses and consumers.

The CBN's directive reflects a proactive approach towards safeguarding Nigeria's digital sphere. While initial adjustments may be required, a well-managed National Cybersecurity Fund holds the promise of significantly bolstering the country's resilience against cyber threats, ultimately benefiting businesses and citizens alike.

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