Cybersecurity Levy: FG To Rake In N3trn To N7.75trn Annually – CPPE

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Following the announcement of the recently introduced cybersecurity levy of 0.5 per cent on electronic banking transactions, the Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE) has claimed that the Federal Government will rake between N3 trillion and N7.75 trillion in one year.

New Telegraph had earlier reported that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directed all banks to collect and remit a 0.5 per cent cybersecurity levy on electronic transactions to the National Security Adviser, NSA, office.

The Director of CPPE, Dr Muda Yusuf made the remark in a statement issued on Tuesday, calling for its suspension due to the hardship Nigerians are facing face.

He explained that going by the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System data (NIBSS), electronic payments on its platform in 2023, which stood at N600 trillion, applying the 0.5 per cybersecurity levy would amount to N3 trillion.

He added that industry data on electronic payments in 2022, which stood at N1550 trillion, implies that the government would generate N7.75 trillion from the cybersecurity levy.

Yusuf, the former Director General of Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said the levy poses a serious risk to the cashless policy.

He said more Nigerians would migrate to cash transactions with the legislation.

He called on the government to suspend the implementation and seek broader engagements.

“This is not a good time to impose an additional levy on businesses and citizens. There is also the issue of proportionality. That relates to the project objective and the amount of revenue being mobilised.

“By the account of the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System, NIBSS, electronic payments on its platform in 2023 was N600 trillion. 0.5 per cent of this is N3 trillion.

“The industry data of electronic payments in 2022, according to the CBN website, was N1550 trillion. 0.5 per cent of this gives N7.75 trillion. Even if we discount these numbers for the exemptions provided in the law, what will be left would still be staggering.

“It is difficult to rationalise spending this much on fighting cybercrime.

“Meanwhile, the total budget appropriation for defence and security in the 2024 budget was N3.2 trillion, and infrastructure appropriation was N1.32 trillion. These are just appropriations. Actual releases are often much less.

“There is also the risk the legislation poses to the cashless policy of the central bank over which significant progress has been made.

“We are likely to see an increased migration to the use of cash as against electronic platforms.

“We plead with the relevant authorities to put the implementation of the legislation on hold while a thorough review is done,” he said.

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