The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said the adoption of its Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) known as eNaira will deepen financial inclusion, ease the nation’s payment bottleneck and support transborder transactions across Africa and beyond.
Godwin Emefile, the governor of the apex bank disclosed this on Monday while receiving Bank of Uganda delegates, who were on an experience sharing tour of the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), in Abuja.
He said, “the CBDC would enhance the relationship between mobile banking and e-business and speed up the rate of financial inclusion.”
“The eNaira, being the first of its kind for a large country like Nigeria, was attracting the interests of many countries, Uganda inclusive.
“We’ve been receiving enquiries from various Central Banks in different parts of Africa and the world, trying to understand what we are doing in the area of CBDC. We are happy that the IMF and World Bank have recognised what we are doing in the area of CBDC.
“However, the country has deepened its payment system infrastructure, and is ranked among the best in the world.”
What it is
Earlier in October 2021, Investors king reported that the Central Bank of Nigeria launched the eNaira, after over 20 days of supposed launch.
The eNaira is a Central Bank Digital Currency backed by law and issued by the CBN as a legal tender. It is the digital form of the Naira used as cash.
The Digital currency was introduced to provide high‐value and time‐critical payment services to financial institutions, and ultimately serves as the backbone for every electronic payment in Nigeria,” President Muhammadu Buhari said.
Nigeria became the first country in Africa and one of the first in the world to introduce a digital currency to our citizens, according to Investors king.
CBN Refutes Rumours Of Naira Replacement
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has on Saturday, refuted rumours that it planned to replace the Naira notes in circulation with digital currency, otherwise known as the eNaira, in due course.
The apex bank, through its CBN Director, Corporate Communications Department, Mr Osita Nwanisobi, said the statement released, supposedly during the stakeholders’ engagement on eNaira adoption in Asaba, Delta was “misconstrued” and therefore called on the public to completely disregard it.
Nwanisobi said: “The digital version of the naira is meant to complement the existing currency notes and therefore, will circulate simultaneously as means of exchange and store of value.
“The digital legal tender aside from the safety and speedy features, it will also ensure greater access to financial services by the underbanked and unbanked populace thereby enhancing financial inclusion”.
He therefore urged members of the public and business owners to embrace the digital currency, the eNaira as it offers more possibilities.
Investors King recalls that in the early hours of Saturday, the Delta State Branch Controller of CBN, Mr Godwin Okafor, had revealed that the Paper currency (Naira) will soon be out of circulation, urging citizens to patronise e-Naira.
Godwin had explained that the bank is the market to further educate the people on the use and importance of the digital currency which is fully backed by the apex bank, unlike Bitcoin which has no legal backing.
He had made the statement at the popular Ogbogonogo market, Delta, during the market sensitisation on e-Naira.
“Paper currency will soon be out of circulation because CBN spent money to print money and people abuse the currency in the market, spraying at the occasion, payment of Okada/tricycle and others and CBN is losing”, he had revealed.
“Paper Currency Will Soon be Out of Circulation” – CBN Official
Delta State Branch Controller of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Okafor, has revealed that the Paper currency, (Naira) will soon be out of circulation, urging citizens to patronize e-Naira.
Mr Godwin explained this at the famous Ogbogonogo market, Delta, during the market sensitisation on e-Naira.
“We are here at the market today to sensitise the market people on the use of e-Naira. It is fully backed by CBN, unlike Bitcoin which has no legal backing,” he said.
“Paper currency will soon be out of circulation because CBN spent money to print money and people abuse the currency in the market, spraying at the occasion, payment of Okada/tricycle and others and CBN is losing.”
In relation to this, Investors King had reported the President’s statement on the importance of the e-Naira to the country’s economy. President Buhari said the launching of the E-Naira makes Nigeria the first country in Africa and one of the first few countries in the world to launch a digital currency.
He further said he expects the currency to enable the government to send direct payments to citizens eligible for government welfare programs as well as foster cross-border trade and assist in moving many more people and businesses from the informal sector into the formal sector, therefore, increasing the tax base of the country.
Further, he explained that being a digital currency, it has the potential to increase Nigeria’s GDP by $29 billion over the next 10 years.
Dr. Aminu Bizi, a CBN e-Naira expert, said Delta was chosen as the second state after Lagos to sensitize market women on the currency.
He said the use of e-Naira was effective, charges free unlike ATM and POS and cannot be hacked by fraudsters.
Secretary to the State Government, Chief Patrick Ukah, praised the CBN for the e-Naira project in his remarks.
He expressed his satisfaction with CBN programs, characterizing e-Naira as a “laudable” initiative that has elevated Nigeria’s position in international finance.
eNaira Compatible With Other Countries’ Digital Currencies
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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