ABCs of new Cybercrime levy, Why Churches, Mosques are exempted

The federal government of Nigeria has reignited a 2018 request to all commercial banks to impose a levy of 0.5°/» (0.005) on specific transactions carried out by customers.

The earlier circular by the Central Bank of Nigeria dated June 25, 2018 had mandated the banks to deduct the levy from customers and remit to it within specified periods.

However, certain banking customers or transactions are exempted from paying the levy including not-for-profits like religious houses (Please see below)

  • The levy is stipulated in Section 44 (2)(a) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) (amendment) Act 2024.
  • Banks are to remit collected levies to the National Cybersecurity Fund (NCF).
  • The NCF is under the purview of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).
  • The levy will take effect from two (2) weeks from 6 May when the CBN issued the circulars to banks.
  • The banks will remit collected funds monthly to the NCF account domiciled with the CBN
  • A bank who fails to deduct the levy from its customers’ transactions is liable to be convicted or fined not less than 2% of their annual turnovers.
  • No bank shall deduct the levy on loan disbursement or repayment
  •  Salary payments are exempted from the levy
  • Intra-account transfers within the same bank or between different banks for the same customer
  • Intra-bank transfers between customers of the same bank
  • Other Financial Institutions (OFIs) instructions to their correspondent banks
  • Interbank placements
  • Banks’ transfers to CBN and vice-versa
  • Inter-branch transfers within a bank
  • Cheques clearing and settlements
  • Letters of Credits (LCs)
  • Banks’ recapitalization related funding – only bulk funds movement from collection accounts
  • Savings             and               deposits                    including     transactions      involving     long-term investments such as Treasury Bills, Bonds, and Commercial Papers.
  • Government Social Welfare Programs transactions e.g. Pension payments
  • Non-profit and charitable transactions including donations to registered non- profit organisations or charities.
  • Educational Institutions transactions, including tuition payments and other transaction involving schools, universities, or other educational institutions.
  • Transactions involving bank’s internal accounts such as suspense accounts, clearing accounts, profit and loss accounts, inter-branch accounts, reserve accounts, nostro and vostro accounts, and escrow account.

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