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eNaira Compatible With Other Countries’ Digital Currencies

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has stated that the execution of the country’s digital currency will be done in four different phases, and also lead to the cooperation of the eNaira with the digital currencies from other central banks.

This was said at the licensed payment service providers’ engagement session by the apex bank’s Director of the Information Technology Department, Rakiya Mohammed. The session took place in Lagos on Monday and consisted of interaction with a much wider category of industry players.

A statement released by Rakiya Mohammed stated that the CBN and important stakeholders in the payments ecosystem, especially the Payment Service Providers (PSPs) and a wide community of fintech groups, during the engagement session decided to collaborate and ensure that the eNaira which was launched recently is adopted by more people or groups.

Mohammed stated that the complete execution of the digital currency would be done in four different phases, which would culminate in eNaira payment solutions offline, payment across borders and the “interoperability of the eNaira with those of other central banks.”

She also confirmed that the CBN was not competing with the Deposit Banks, neither was it competing with other actors in the payment system space in Nigeria.

According to Mohammed, the engagement session was a continuation of the CBN’s plan to include every stakeholder. She also stated that the country’s apex bank was welcoming of any suggestions and transformations which are directed at adding value to the digital currency and improving the currency’s user experience.

The PSPs (as well as the huge community of fintech groups) were also encouraged to look for more innovative ways to assist members of the public when possible, in the onboarding process and use of eNaira. They have also been encouraged to develop solutions for offline eNaira services, which include cards, wearables and Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD).

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eNaira

More Nigerians Embraces E-Naira Mobile Application, Nears 1 Million Downloads

E-Naira Mobile Application has so far recorded 905,588 downloads, with 282,600 active users. 

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E-Naira Mobile Application has so far recorded 905,588 downloads, with 282,600 active users. 

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefile declared yesterday at the CBN headquarters in Abuja. The CBN governor said more Nigerians are gradually embracing the eNaira wallet. 

It could be recalled that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) launched eNaira in October 2021 as a digital form of Naira which can be used just like cash. The eNaira is equal in value to the paper naira.

E-Naira clearly differs from cryptocurrency because it is issued by a central authority, regulated and subject to banking laws. 

According to the CBN governor, about 1.5 million transactions worth over N3.484 billion has been carried out on eNaira wallets. 

A partial breakdown shows that customers-to-banks transactions have reached 78,115 transactions with a monetary worth of about N1 billion while banks to customers transactions stood at 90,760 with monetary worth of N945 million. 

Furthermore, customers-to-customers transactions stood at 35,800 with a capital value of N480 million while customer-to-merchant transactions have reached 171,000 transactions with a worth of more than N387 million.

Meanwhile, the CBN governor added that the introduction of the USSD short code to access eNaira has further driven its adoption. In August 2022, the central bank introduced a short code *997# as a supplementary service for the eNaira. 

Emefiele stated that 13,136 e-Naira wallets have been created through the unstructured supplementary service data (USSD). He declared that the apex bank is happy with the growth of eNaira while the bank expects the number to rise exponentially in the coming months. 

Nigeria is the first country in Africa to launch a digital currency. According to the Central Bank, a digital naira is aimed to drive inclusion, digital economy and the cashless policy of the central bank. 

Investors King learnt that other countries which have a digital currency include China, Bahamas and Jamaica. 

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eNaira

CBN Announces *997# as e-Naira USSD Code

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Thursday unveiled *997# as the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) code for e-Naira, the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Thursday unveiled *997# as the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) code for e-Naira, the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

The apex bank unveiled the code in Kano State as part of efforts to ensure a cashless society.

Mr. Folashadun Adebisi Shonubi, the Deputy Governor, Operations Directorate of the CBN, who launched the USSD code in Kano, said this was another milestone in delivering digital financial services to Nigerians and enabling their participation in the global digital economy.

According to him, e-Naira offers Nigerians endless possibilities when it comes to financial services and embodied its slogan: “Same Naira, More Opportunities.”

He said “Today marks a significant milestone towards achieving the objective of the second phase of the project which is to drive financial inclusion by onboarding unbanked and underserved users leveraging the offline channels.

“Specifically, we are here to launch the eNaira USSD channel using *997# for onboarding and transactions.
“The choice of the USSD as the premium offline channel for the eNaira is founded in an understanding of the peculiarities of our economy,” Shonubi explained.

He, however, urged Nigerians to embrace e-Naira as it is safe and would help in reducing the number of the country’s unbanked population.

“Approximately, 45 per cent of adult Nigerians do not have a bank account while 35.9 per cent are excluded from formal financial services.

“However, around 81 per cent of the adult population in Nigeria (86 million out of 106 million) own mobile phones (EFInA, 2021), in addition, there are about 150 million Mobile Subscribers in Nigeria (NCC, June 2022).

“Therefore, the eNaira seeks to leverage the huge opportunity mobile telecommunications presents as a distribution channel for the offering of digital financial services to the underserved and unbanked population” he stated.

Speaking on the reason for launching in Kano first, Hajiya Rakiya Muhammad, the Director, Information Technology Department of the CBN, said the CBN chose Kano to unveil the eNaira code because of its economic significance in the country.

Muhammad said: “We believe if Kano accepts the eNaira, everyone will accept it all over the country.”

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CBN to Introduce USSD to eNaira to Boost Financial Inclusion – CBN

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has revealed it is set to introduce the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) code as a mode to help over 30 percent of Nigerians who are yet to get into the financial system.

The Deputy Governor of the CBN, Kingsley Obiora, explained this at the IMF African Department Speakers Series held virtually on Friday.

“We have made serious progress in the last seven to eight years because when the current governor resumed in 2014, one of the pillars of his vision was to significantly improve financial inclusion.

“So at the time, we were at 48 percent of our population within the financial system, and given several policies that he conceived and implemented, we are almost at 70 percent.

“That still leaves us with about 30 percent of our population out of the financial system and we believe the CBDC can help reduce that number even more.

“A lot of people might not have smartphones but that is essentially the next step of our improvement in the CBDC, to introduce the USSD code, so those that do not have smartphones can still transact,” Mr. Obiora said.

Accordingly, the CBN deputy governor explained that the eNaira platform has a low obstacle, making it easy for anyone with a Bank Verification Number (BVN) to be logged into the eNaira platform in a matter of minutes.

He said that the country’s digital payments had increased in value from $324 billion in 2008 to almost $2.4 trillion now and that Nigerians are now accustomed to using them.

“As you know, within the continent we have one of the largest Fintech companies, Futterwave, Paystack, etc,” he stated.

The CBN opted to introduce the CBDC because it offered enormous benefits for Nigeria, he added.

Mr Obiora claimed a number of advantages, including increased financial inclusion, lower cash processing costs, direct welfare payments to citizens, and a reduction in the informal sector.

Others include increasing tax collection, enhancing cross-border trade and remittances, lowering payment costs and increasing efficiency, and just promoting economic growth in general.

Investors King gathered that the eNaira, being Africa’s first digital currency, has risen to the top of the global retail CBDC rankings, with app downloads increasing to 756,000 from 700,000 in December 2021.

Likewise, eNaira was given a retail index rating of 95 in the survey, and the country was also placed first in Africa. The index is based on research from the BIS, the World Bank, and PwC.

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