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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.”

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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eNaira

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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eNaira

CBN Refutes Rumours Of Naira Replacement

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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.

 

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eNaira

“Paper Currency Will Soon be Out of Circulation” – CBN Official

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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.

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