SERAP, BudgIT, and a coalition of concerned citizens have initiated legal action against the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) regarding the contentious cybersecurity levy. The lawsuit, filed at the Federal High Court in Lagos under suit number FHC/L/CS/822/2024, challenges the legality of the CBN’s directive issued through a circular on May 6, 2024.

This circular instructed financial institutions to impose a cybersecurity levy on customers’ transactions.

The plaintiffs argue that the CBN’s directive, mandating a 0.5% levy on electronic transactions, is unlawful and potentially unconstitutional. They contend that such a levy, applied indiscriminately to all electronic transactions, violates constitutional provisions safeguarding citizens’ rights, including their right to property. Moreover, they assert that the levy’s allocation to the National Cybersecurity Fund, administered by the Office of the National Security Adviser, contravenes constitutional guidelines dictating the allocation of revenues to the Federation Account.

They also stated that Since 30 April 2024, commercial banks in Nigeria has been charging exorbitant fees for electronic transactions, including electronic transfer charges at N53.75 on any amount above N10,000; stamp duty of N50 on every transaction and account maintenance charge deducted per month, and adding cybersecurity levy to it is an additional burden to the masses.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.