June 24, 2024

CBN Retracts Cybersecurity Levy Directive for Financial Institutions

 

By: Emmanuel Ibitoye

 

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has rescinded its directive mandating a 0.5 percent cybersecurity levy on banks and financial institutions.

 

This decision was communicated through a statement signed by Haruna Mustafa, Director of Financial Policy and Regulation, and Chibuzo Efobi, Director of Payment System Management.

 

The statement referred to the earlier circular issued on May 6, 2024, stating, “Please be advised that the above-referenced circular is hereby withdrawn.”

 

The initial directive had instructed financial institutions to allocate 0.5 percent of their annual gross earnings towards enhancing cybersecurity measures. This move was intended to fortify the sector against increasing cyber threats. However, the abrupt withdrawal indicates a policy reversal, though the CBN has not provided detailed reasons for this decision.

 

Industry stakeholders had voiced concerns about the levy, citing the additional financial strain it would place on banks already navigating a challenging economic environment. The CBN’s retraction of the circular is expected to ease these concerns, although the central bank has yet to outline any new strategies to tackle cybersecurity issues within the financial sector.

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