NLC Kicks As CBN Introduce Cyber Security Levy

The Nigeria Labour Congress ( NLC), has described the planned cyber security levy introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria( CBN) on all electronic transactions, as another burden on the citizens of Nigeria and calls for immediate stoppage and reversal of the policy.

According to the new directive issued by the CBN to all financial institutions, including commercial, merchant, non-,interest banks, payment service banks, and mobile money operators mandating the implementation of 0.5% cyber security Levy on all electronic transactions which will come into effect in two weeks from 6th of May 2024.

This move is in line with the provisions of the recently amended Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc.) Act 2024.

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The directive, detailed in a circular, instructs that the levy be applied at the point of electronic transfer origination, with the deducted amount to be reflected in the customer’s account as a “Cybersecurity Levy.”

The levy’s introduction has sparked widespread criticism among Nigerians and civil society organisations.

Rejecting the policy, the NLC President, Joe Ajaero, said such deductions directly affect the disposable income of workers, and further diminish the purchasing power of the common citizens.

He said the directive is another gang up by the ruling elite, to continue its extortion and exploitation of helpless workers and the masses.

“The Nigeria Labour Congress recognises the importance of cybersecurity in today’s digital age,”

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“However, imposing such a levy on electronic transactions without due consideration for its implications on workers and vulnerable segments of society is unjustifiable.

“This levy stands as another tax that is too much for Nigerians, burdening them with additional financial responsibilities.

“We see this levy as another gang-up by the ruling elite to continue its extortion and exploitation of hapless and helpless workers and the masses.”

Ajaero lamented that domestic manufacturers and other businesses were already shuttering as a result of the stifling socio-economic environment.

“We urge a collaborative approach between the government, regulatory bodies, and stakeholders to develop sustainable cybersecurity measures that do not unduly burden the populace.

“We reiterate our commitment to championing the rights and welfare of Nigerian workers and the masses,” the NLC President said.

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By Sophina Ovuike, Abuja