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Financial Inclusion: CBN activates eNaira USSD code in Kano

*The Central Bank of Nigeria has stated that it introduces the eNaira transaction code *997# to enhance financial inclusion, and avail Nigerian consumers opportunities to endless possibilities through financial services

*Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State assures the state government will use the eNaira platform for empowerment programmes, and boost their businesses

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

In furtherance of the Bank’s efforts at enhancing financial inclusion in the West African country, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has unveiled the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) for its eNaira Thursday, August 25, 2022, in Kano, Kano State.

Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Governor of CBN, noted this at the inauguration of the USSD transaction code at a 5-day Northern eNaira fair, Kano 2022.

Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Governor of CBN

ConsumerConnect reports the theme of the fair is: “Implementation of eNaira Wallet Towards Job Opportunity and Economic Growth”.

The Bankers’ Bank stressed it introduced the eNaira transaction code *997# in order to engender financial inclusion and avail Nigerians opportunities to endless possibilities through financial services.

Represented at the event by Mr. Folashodun Adenisi-Shonubi, Deputy Governor Operations, Emefiele described eNaira as a strategic initiative, in accordance with the Bank’s mandate to preserve monetary and financial stability.

The CBN Chief said of the USSD initiative: “It captured the slogan ‘Same Naira, More Possibilities’, and designed to positively impact lives of Nigerians, and transform the economy.

“The eNaira is expected to enhance inclusion, support poverty reduction, enable direct welfare disbursement to citizens, support a resilient payments ecosystem, improve availability and usability of central bank money.”

It would also facilitate Diaspora remittances, reduce the cost of processing cash, and improve efficiency of cross-border payments, among others, stated he.

Leveraging telecoms for digital services

Emefiele stated that approximately 45 percent Nigerians do not have bank accounts, while 35.9 percent are excluded from formal financial services.

The CBN Governor, however, said that about 81 percent of the adults population in Nigeria, representing 86 million of the 106 million own mobile phones.

He also said: “In addition, there are 150 million Mobile Subscribers in Nigeria, according to NCC, June 2022.

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

Speaking at the forum, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, represented by Alhaji Sagir Muhammad, Special Adviser on Cabinet Affairs, commended the CBN for the unveiling of the eNaira USSD code in Kano.

Ganduje assured that his administration would ensure an enabling environment for businesses to thrive for the overall social and economic development of the Northern state.

The Kano State Governor also noted that the state government would use the eNaira platform for its empowerment programmes, and urged Nigerians to utilise the opportunity, to boost their businesses.

Ganduje said: “With this, you don’t need to go to the bank, POS operators, or have ATM card, all you need is to use the transaction code ‘997#’.”

It is recalled that the Central Bank of Nigeria, earlier June 2022, had disclosed that it would introduce the USSD code to improve eNaira towards entrenching financial inclusion in the economy.

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