In response to widespread public concern, the House of Representatives, during its plenary session on Thursday, decided to pause the enforcement of the contentious cybersecurity levy introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The decision came after the adoption of a motion presented by the Minority Leader, Hon. Kingsley Chinda, citing Order 8 Rule 5. He argued that the CBN’s circular regarding the levy could be misinterpreted and contradicts section 44(2a) of the Cybercrime Act.

Hon. Chinda, in his lead debate, pointed out that the circular from the CBN dated May 6, 2024, proposed a 0.5% levy on electronic transactions as per the Cybercrimes Act. This levy was intended for businesses listed in the Act, such as GSM Service Providers, banks, and other financial institutions.

Expressing concern over potential misinterpretations and public backlash, the House emphasized the need for clarity in the CBN’s directives. Civil Society Organisations and citizens had voiced strong opposition, particularly on social media platforms, calling for a reversal of what they deemed an “imposed levy on Nigerians.”

To address the situation, the House directed the CBN to withdraw its ambiguous circular and issue a clear directive consistent with the Cybercrimes Act. Additionally, the joint House Committees on Banking Regulations and Banking and other Ancillary Institutions were tasked with providing guidance to the CBN for proper implementation moving forward.

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