The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has issued a directive for all banks in the country to begin charging a 0.5% cybersecurity levy on all electronic transactions. This directive was conveyed in a circular signed by Chibuzo Efobi, Director of the Payments System Management Department, and Haruna Mustafa, Director of the Financial Policy and Regulation Department, as reported by PUNCH Online.

The circular, addressed to all categories of banks including commercial, merchant, non-interest, and payment service banks, specifies that the implementation of this levy will commence two weeks from Monday, May 6, 2024.

According to the circular, the cybersecurity levy will be applied at the point where the electronic transfer originates. It will then be deducted and remitted by the financial institution facilitating the transaction. The deducted amount will be reflected in the customer’s account with a corresponding narration indicating ‘Cybersecurity Levy.’

This directive underscores the CBN’s commitment to enhancing cybersecurity measures in the financial sector and protecting electronic transactions against cyber threats.

In this piece, PUNCH Online highlights all the 16 banking transactions that are exempted from the CBN’s new cybersecurity levy:

  1. Loan disbursements and repayments
  2. Salary payments
  3. Intra-account transfers within the same bank or between different banks for the same customer
  4. Intra-bank transfers between customers of the same bank
  5. Other Financial Institutions instructions to their correspondent banks
  6. Interbank placements,
  7. Banks’ transfers to CBN and vice-versa
  8. Inter-branch transfers within a bank
  9. Cheque clearing and settlements.
  10. Letters of Credits
  11. Banks’ recapitalisation-related funding – only bulk funds movement from collection accounts
  12. Savings and deposits, including transactions involving long-term investments such as Treasury Bills, Bonds, and Commercial Papers.
  13. Government Social Welfare Programmes transactions e.g. Pension payments
  14. Non-profit and charitable transactions, including donations to registered non-profit organisation or charities
  15. Educational institutions’ transactions, including tuition payments and other transactions involving schools, universities, or other educational institutions
  16. Transactions involving bank’s internal accounts such as suspense accounts, clearing accounts, profit and loss accounts, inter-branch accounts, reserve accounts, nostro and vostro accounts, and escrow accounts.

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