eNaira: Central Bank Targets 85% Financial Inclusion On Nigeria’s Payment System
Governor of the Central of Nigeria (CBN) Mr Godwin Emefiele says the introduction of eNaira, the central bank’s digital currency, is an evidence to the fact that Nigeria’s payment system has been deepened under his leadership.
Emefiele expressed optimism that the apex bank will achieve the 85 per cent financial inclusion rate target in Nigeria, within a very short period from its current rate of slightly below 70 per cent.
The governor made the remarks in his Abuja office when he received officials from the Bank of Uganda who undertook an experience sharing tour of the CBN’s CBDC (eNaira) project.
He expressed joy at the fact that even the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank recognise what his team is doing in the area of the electronic form of central bank money.
He paid tribute to his predecessor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, for laying the foundation upon which the country’s current payments system was built.
Sanusi, as then CBN governor, appointed him chairman of the sub-committee of the of the Bankers’ Committee to lead the payments system drive in 2012, adding that the move paved the way for innovative ideas that eventually led to the creation of the eNaira.
Launched last year, eNaira is the digital form of the Naira and is used just like cash. The eNaira wallet is a digital storage that holds the eNaira. The eNaira wallet is required to access, hold and use eNaira. eNaira is a unit of account, store of value and medium of exchange.
“We feel happy because we know that Nigeria has deepened its payment system infrastructure today to the extent that we can pride ourselves,” Emefiele told the delegation. He said the CBN decided to introduce the eNaira because it felt, not only that it is important “but to also make people know that Nigeria is poised to deepen its payment system infrastructure.”
He noted that the CBN is delighted that what it is doing in the area of eNaira is actually attracting the interest of different countries in the world.
Adding that, the country’s Central Bank Digital Currency, the eNaira, has recorded some level of success judging by the rate of integration and security features, adding that the CBDC will enhance the relationship between mobile banking and e-business and speed up the rate of financial inclusion.
He therefore charged the executive directors (deputy governors equivalent) of the bank of Uganda to strive to strengthen their country’s payment system, noting that a strong payment system remained the bedrock for the successful take-off of a CBDC.
Emefiele further says the apex bank has received enquiries from different central banks around the world, especially from Africa, to understand what the bank is doing.