Nigeria Suspends Implementation of Cybersecurity Levy

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The NESG highlighted concerns over multiple taxation and inflationary pressures, urging the government to reconsider the levy amid escalating inflation and financial exclusion.

Nigeria has decided to suspend the proposed cybersecurity levy on domestic money transfers," Information Minister Mohammed Idris announced, stating that "The implementation has been directed by the government to be put on hold," local media reported.

"The new levy was planned as authorities clamp down on cryptocurrency, which they have blamed for Nigeria's currency weakness," Idris explained.

"The cybersecurity tax policy implementation has been directed by the government to be put on hold, so it has been suspended," reiterated Idris.

Civil society groups had earlier voiced opposition to the introduction of the levy. The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) expressed concerns about the timing of the recently introduced 0.5 per cent cybersecurity levy on electronic transactions by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Thursday, May 9.

Subsequently, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) reportedly issued a circular to various financial institutions, including commercial, merchant, non-interest, and payment service banks, announcing the cybersecurity levy.

In a statement, the NESG urged the federal government to reconsider the levy due to concerns over multiple taxation and inflationary pressures burdening Nigerians.

The group highlighted that, amidst escalating inflation and financial exclusion, the timing of the cybersecurity levy is inappropriate given the current cost of living crisis and increased currency circulation.