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E-Naira Launch: CBN assures of inclusive growth, sustainable economic development

Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria

*The Central Bank of Nigeria explains its decision to introduce e-Naira, a Central Bank Digital Currency is to help in attaining the goal of fostering greater inclusion, using digital channels, supporting cross-border payments for businesses and firms as well as providing a reliable channel for remittances inflows into the West African country

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

As the Bankers’ Bank is set to inaugurate its e-Naira digital currency, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has stated that it will continue to ensure inclusive economic growth and sustainable development in the country.

ConsumerConnect reports Mr. Osita Nwanisobi, Director of Corporate Communications Department of CBN, said this at the ongoing 16th Abuja International Trade Fair.

The Fair is hosted by the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) at the weekend, in Abuja, FCT.

Nwanisobi assured Nigerian consumers the operation of the forthcoming e-Naira digital currency is safe, easily accessible, digitised, and could be easily accessed through banks and other payment platforms.

Conducting reporters on a ‘Special Day with the CBN’ tour of the CBN trade fair pavilion, the CBN Spokesman disclosed while banks and other financial services providers would be involved in the distribution of the currency, the apex bank will be the central authority in terms of minting and issuance of the e-Naira in the country.

He explained: “In the coming days, the CBN will be unveiling the Central Bank Digital Currency (CNDC), the e-Naira.

“The e-Naira is the digital version of Nigeria’s legal tender with the same value as the fiat Naira, (physical Naira notes).”

Nwanisobi as well stressed the Bank has continued to ensure robust, safe, reliable, credible and efficient payments system in the country through the revision of the Mobile Money Operations, (MMOs), and has raised the Loan to Deposit Ratio, (LDR), from 60 percent to 65 percent to encourage more lending by banks.

CBN tasks financial institutions on knowledge, technology

In a related development, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, has charged financial institutions in the country to leverage new knowledge and technological tools to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of Nigerian payments system.

Emefiele, who gave the advice at the 31st Seminar for Finance Correspondents and Business Editors, held in Enugu recently, stressed that the robust payments system had continued to evolve towards meeting the needs of households and businesses in the country, agency report said.

The CBN organised the forum with the theme, “Trends in Nigerian Payments System: Regulating the Fintech Digital playing Field”.

The high level of confidence in the country’s payments system, especially between 2015 and 2020, has attracted the investment of about $500million in firms run by Nigerian founders, said the CBN Governor.

Emefiele, represented at the meeting by Mr. Edward Adamu, Deputy Governor, Corporate Services Directorate, noted: “In spite of these gains, about 36 per cent of adult Nigerians still do not have access to financial services.

“Improving access to finance for individuals and businesses through digital channels can help to improve financial inclusion, lower the cost of transactions, and increase the flow of credit to businesses.”

According to him, the post-COVID economy was predicted to be dominated by certain trends, including a radically altered financial industry landscape.

He explained the accelerated shift towards digital financial services would attract more Financial Technology (FinTech) investment and encourage competition to traditional financial institutions.

The CBN Governor said: “This calls for an increased and intensive regulatory scrutiny on the part of regulators to proactively monitor developments and ensure the continuous safety and soundness of the financial ecosystem.

“It is, therefore, imperative that regulators must keep pace with these exponential developments and leverage new knowledge and technology tools, such as Regtech and Suptech to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of their mandate.”

Technology has continued to change the face of the financial services industry, he noted.

He further stated: “This has, no doubt, accelerated the development of novel financial products, services and channels all of which have placed Nigeria at the fore of the financial innovation race.”

He also explained the CBN’s decision to introduce a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), the e-Naira, is to help to attain its goals of fostering greater inclusion, using digital channels, supporting cross-border payments for businesses and firms as well as providing a reliable channel for remittances inflows into the country.

He, therefore, expressed the belief that partnering with stakeholders in the financial industry, more Nigerian consumers would be financially included.

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