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Buhari activates e-Naira, says Africa’s first digital currency will boost Nigeria’s GDP by $29bn

President Muhammadu Buhari (centre), Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, and Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Governor of CBN at Official Launch of Nigeria e-Naira at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, FCT Photo: InvestorsKing

*President Muhammadu Buhari Monday, October 25 formally launches the e-Naira, as Nigeria’s Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), and highlights the essential Nigeria-specific benefits of the digital currency  in several sectors of the Nigerian economy

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

As part of the digital economy cum digital transformation agenda of the Federal Government towards enhancing financial inclusion in the West African country, President Muhammadu Buhari formally activated the e-Naira, as the country’s Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), Monday, October 25, 2021, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, FCT.

ConsumerConnect reports the e-Naira is a Central Bank of Nigeria-issued digital currency that provides a unique form of money denominated in Naira, the country’s currency.

It was commendation galore at the State House, Abuja, for Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), his Deputy Governors, and the entire staff of the apex bank, as well as other partners on the project, who worked tirelessly towards ensuring the launch of Africa’s first digital currency became a reality.

Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Governor of CBN (far left), presenting his address at the event in the State House, Abuja

The CBN Governor in his address disclosed that 500 million e-Naira ($1.21 million) has already been minted on the Nigeria e-Naira platform involving 33 banks.

The CBN earlier had stated that launch of the country’s digital currency, the e-Naira, designed by its technical partner Bitt Incorporated, with the theme, “Same Naira, More Possibilities”, would be part of its efforts at advancing the boundaries of payments system to make financial transactions easier and seamless for Nigerian consumers.

It was gathered the Financial Technology (FinTech) company Bitt is also behind the creation of CBDCs in some East Caribbean countries of the world.

RELATED: Buhari To Unveil e-Naira October 25 In Abuja, Says CBN

It stated that President Muhammadu Buhari was scheduled to formally unveil the country’s Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), known as the e-Naira, Monday, October 25, 2021, at the State House, Abuja, FCT.

Rationale for introducing e-Naira digital currency, by CBN

The Bankers’ Bank in a statement at the weekend noted the scheduled launch of the e-Naira, which the theme christened “Same Naira, More Possibilities”, on Monday, signalled a culmination of several years of research work by the CBN.

RELATED Digital Economy: Why President Buhari Approves Design, Launch Of E-Naira ─Official

The Bank noted that the CBDC was designed and launched with the aim of advancing the boundaries of payments system and making financial transactions easier and seamless for every stratum of the Nigerian society.

Mr. Osita Nwanisobi, Director of Corporate Communications Department at the CBN, in a statement said the feat was achieved sequel to series of engagements with relevant stakeholders, including the banking community, Financial Technology (FinTech) operators, merchants, and indeed, cross-sections of Nigerian consumers.

Mr. President says adoption of CBDC can boost GDP by $29bn in a decade

In his speech at the historic launch of the e-Naira Monday, in Abuja, President Buhari disclosed that the country’s adoption of the Central Bank Digital Currency and its underlying technology, called Blockchain, can increase Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by $29billion over the next 10 years.

Buhari also declared that recent introduction of the e-Naira would enable the Nigerian Government to send direct payments to citizens eligible for specific welfare programmes besides fostering cross-border trade.

RELATED: CBN Outlines Benefits Of E-Naira Digital Currency In Economy

Alongside digital innovations, the President further noted that CBDCs can foster economic growth through better economic activities, increase remittances, improve financial inclusion and make monetary policy more effective.

“Let me note that aside from the global trend to create digital currencies, we believe that there are Nigeria-specific benefits that cut across different sectors of, and concerns of the economy.

“The use of CBDCs can help move many more people and businesses from the informal into the formal sector, thereby increasing the tax base of the country,” he said.

RELATED E-Naira Launch: CBN Assures Of Inclusive Growth, Sustainable Economic Development

According to Buhari, with the launch of e-Naira, Nigeria has become the first country in Africa, and one of the first in the world to introduce a Digital Currency to the citizens.

RELATED: NCC Committed To Growth Of E-Governance, Other Internet-Driven Services In Nigeria ─Danbatta

The President as well assured Nigerian consumers of the safety and scalability of the CBDC system, which he described as the journey to create a digital currency for Nigeria that began way back 2017.

Contributions of FMCDE, NCC, banks, others to creation, launch of Nigeria e-Naira

In his address on the occasion, President Buhari also stated that “work intensified over the past several months with several brainstorming exercises, deployment of technical partners and advisers, collaboration with the (Federal) Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy (FMCDE), headed by Honourable Minister (Prof.) Isa Ali Pantami, and its sister agencies like the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), integration of banking software across the country and painstaking tests to ensure the robustness, safety and scalability of the CBDC System.”

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