Office of NSA to rake in N415bn monthly from cybersecurity levy

The Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) under Nuhu Ribadu is set to rake in about N415bn monthly from the 0.5% cybersecurity levy on all electronic transactions.

Late on Monday, the Central Bank of Nigeria issued a circular dated May 6, 2024 to all commercial, merchant, non-interest and payment service banks as well as mobile money operators and payment service providers to start deduction 0.5%(half of a percent) as cybersecurity levy on all electronic transactions carried out by Nigerians.

Checks by Ripples Nigeria on the portal of the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) showed that the value of electronic transactions in the country, stood at N83 trillion.

“By March, the value of electronic transactions in the country had surged to an all-time high of N83 trillion” NIBSS stated.

Calculating 0.5% of N83tr gives approximately N415bn, which give, or take, would be the sum due to the ONSA monthly depending on volume of electronic transactions in the country.

It would be recalled that the new levy of 0.5%, equivalent to half per cent, is applied to electronic transactions as mandated by the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) (amendment) Act 2024.

Ribadu, had recently called for the full implementation of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc.) Amendment Act 2024, including the operationalisation of the National Cybersecurity Fund by all regulators and businesses specified in the second schedule of the Act

A statement signed by the Head, Strategic Communication Office of the NSA, Zakari Mijinyawa, said the directive was part of efforts to secure Nigeria’s Critical National Information Infrastructure (CNII), counter-terrorism and violent extremism, strengthen national security, and protect its economic interests.

The levy is to be paid by the originator of the electronic transaction and deducted by the financial institution. The deducted amount shall be reflected in the customer’s account with the narration: “Cybersecurity Levy.”

Subsequently, Financial institutions are expected to deduct the levy and remit it to the National Cybersecurity Fund (NCF) to be domiciled by the Office of the National Security Adviser

The deducted amount must be remitted in bulk to the NCF account domiciled at the CBN monthly by the fifth business day of the following month.

Financial institutions have deadlines to update their systems to handle levy deduction and remittance. Failure to remit the levy could result in penalties, including a fine of up to 2% of a financial institution’s annual turnover.

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