Nigeria’s President, Bola Tinubu has suspended a planned levy on electronic banking transactions following widespread public criticism of the scheme, Information Minister Mohammed Idris said.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had last week told financial institutions to charge 0.5% of the value of electronic transfers to raise money for enhancing cybersecurity in the country. The levy was to start in two weeks.

“The cybersecurity tax policy implementation has been directed by the government to be put on hold, so it has been suspended,” Mr Idris told reporters on Tuesday following a cabinet meeting in the capital, Abuja.

The controversial levy was to start in two weeks

President Tinubu directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to review the modalities for its implementation, the minister added.

Many Nigerians had condemned the planned levy, with some saying it would push them back to using cash.

But Mr Idris said that the president was not insensitive to the feelings of Nigerians.

Nigeria is experiencing its worst economic crisis in a generation and many people said the levy would cause further hardship as they struggle to afford basic items.