Northern Elders Condemn Cybersecurity Levy as Arbitrary & Illegal

Northern Elders Forum
Northern Elders Forumgoogle

The Central Bank of Nigeria's decision to impose a cybersecurity levy on bank customers nationwide was condemned by the Ango Abdullahi-led Northern Elders Forum on Thursday.

The NEF, led by its Director of Publicity and Advocacy, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, expressed dissatisfaction with the policy in a statement released in Kaduna.

Describing CBN’s directives as “arbitrary, illegal, and out of touch with the realities faced by Nigerians," the Forum highlighted the rising costs of banking transactions due to multiple charges.

Therefore, the northern body urged the government to review the policy and consider alternative measures to alleviate the financial burden on individuals while still encouraging the use of electronic payments.

The NEF has emphasized that the financial burden on individuals participating in electronic transactions has become unbearable. The forum brought attention to the different fees that bank customers are currently encountering, such as cybersecurity levies starting from ₦5 on ₦1,000 to ₦50,000 on ₦10,000,000 transactions, transfer charges, stamp duty, SMS charges and value-added tax.

While recognizing the importance of cybersecurity in securing electronic transactions, the NEF pointed out the necessity for a more balanced approach that keeps security costs reasonable and does not overly burden bank customers.

The NEF stated that in a country already facing economic challenges, the cybersecurity levy's added financial burden was deemed unjust and unfair, prompting the government and relevant stakeholders to seek a sustainable solution that balances cybersecurity enhancement with easing the financial strain on the Nigerian populace.

“It is imperative that the administration takes into account the concerns raised by a vast majority of Nigerians and prioritises policies that protect the interests of the people while also fostering economic growth and development.”

The NEF then called on the authorities and relevant stakeholders to participate in a meaningful review and find a solution that addresses the legitimate concerns raised by the public regarding the cybersecurity levy.

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