By Merit Ibe                                               


The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has raised concerns over  the recent directive issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) mandating banks to enforce section 44 of the Cybercrime Act 2024, which imposes a 0.5% cybersecurity levy on Nigerians, calling for withdrawal of the directive.

Dr. Chinyere Almona, the Director General of the chamber, expressed dismay over the additional financial burden that individuals and businesses would face due to this levy, especially in light of ongoing challenges such as erratic power supply following the recent hike in electricity tariffs.

Emphasizing the need for the government to reconsider the implementation of this directive, citing its untimely nature and lack of clear justification,  she called for the withdrawal of the directive to allow for further consultations with key stakeholders, “particularly at a time when government revenues are at a peak due to increased crude oil prices and savings from subsidy removal.

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Highlighting the adverse impact of the levy on consumers’ purchasing power and businesses’ production costs, Almona questioned the effectiveness of the levy in protecting payers from cyber-attacks.

She also raised concerns about the potential confusion surrounding exemptions and the possibility of individuals reverting to cash transactions to avoid the levy, which could undermine the progress made with the cashless policy.

Almona urged the government to amend relevant laws to reflect current realities, implement economic stimulus programs, and invest in digital infrastructure to support business operations.

She also called for transparency in the utilization of levy funds earmarked for cybersecurity, emphasizing the need to align tax initiatives with existing reform efforts to prevent multiple taxation and ensure effective coordination.

Almona stressed the importance of enhancing cybersecurity measures and fostering a conducive business environment through strategic policy interventions.