House Of Reps Orders CBN To Stop 0.5% Charge On Electronic Banking Transactions

The House of Representatives has directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to immediately halt the implementation of the cybercrime levy introduced by the apex bank in compliance with the provisions of the Cybercrime Act.

On Monday, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) issued a circular  to various financial institutions, including commercial, merchant, non-interest, and payment service banks, indicating that the levy would come into effect two weeks from 6 May.

“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 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 fifth business day of every subsequent month,” the directive read in part.

The introduction of the 0.5 per cent cybersecurity levy on all banking transactions sparked widespread discontent among Nigerians with many saying it’s coming at the wrong time.

Reacting to the widespread outrage, the house on Thursday adopting a motion of urgent public importance moved by Minority Leader, Kingsley Chinda (PDP, Rivers) on behalf of the entire members, the House asked the Central Bank to immediately withdraw it’s earlier circular on the implementation of the levy and issue another circular in love with the provisions of the Act. 

Chinda said section 44(2a) of the cybercrime act listed those to pay the stipulated fees as GSM abd telecom companies, Internet providers, Banks and other financial institutions, insurance companies and Stocks Exchange. 

He explained that the circular from the CBN has raised apprehension across the country as it has given the impression that the levy is to be paid by Nigerians in an era when they are still battling with increase in price of petroleum product among others. 

He said further that the CBN circular has been subjected to several interpretation. 

Culled from ir