The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has processed 700,000 transactions with a value of N8 billion through its digital currency, eNaira since its inauguration on Oct. 25, 2021.
This revelation came from the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, Wednesday in Abuja, at the 28th edition of the apex bank’s annual In-house Executive Seminar with the theme, ‘Digitalisation of Money and Monetary Policy in Nigeria’.
The CBN Governor, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability, CBN, Aisha Ahmad, disclosed that the eNaira was developed to broaden the payment possibilities of Nigerians, foster digital financial inclusion, with potential for fast-tracking intergovernmental and social transfers, capital flow and remittances.
The Digital Currency was launched by the President, President Muhammadu Buhari on Oct. 25, 2021.
According to Emefiele, the eNaira had been globally acclaimed as a success story. “Since its launch, a total of N8 billion, consisting of over 700,000 transactions has passed through the eNaira platform.
“As part of the CBN’s effort to further integrate and broaden the usage of the eNaira, it was assigned an Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) code, enabling payments by simply dialling *997# on a mobile phone.
“I am proud to announce to you today that the eNaira has been attracting accolades across the globe as a monumental success.
“It topped the charts on retail CBDCs projects globally, as at April (PwC, 2022) and several central banks across the globe have been requesting our success template on the eNaira,” he said.
He said the story of the eNaira had been one of courage, persistence and commitment to explore new frontiers and possibilities.
Emefiele added that, as part of the digitisation drive, the apex bank had taken transformational steps in entrenching a culture of “big data” and data analytics, as tools for effective policy making.
“To this end, the CBN Data Architecture Project (CeDAP), code-named ‘Project OXYGEN’ was commissioned, with the objectives of providing a repository of a variety of data from different sources,” he said.
The CBN governor said considerable gains had been achieved on boosting financial inclusion in Nigeria.
He added that at 64.0 per cent, the inclusion rate slowed down the digital transformation wheel, as all citizens must be carried along to optimise the gains of a digital economy.
“While cash-based transactions have declined significantly in the last decade, it is still the dominant means of payment, amidst a large informal sector.
“Nigeria boasts of one of the fastest growing FinTech ecosystems in Africa, with the industry projected to grow by 12 per cent annually. But the technological space is still maturing, with limited market size, funding and venture capitalists, access to baseline technologies, and skills, as common features, ” he said.
Also speaking, Deputy Governor, Economic Policy, the CBN, Dr. Kingsley Obiora, said that the seminar was an annual platform to brainstorm on topical economic issues.
Obiora said that the intention was to proffer policy options for the consideration of management of the CBN. “Through the past years, the seminar has lived up to its expectations by providing significant inputs towards improving management’s decisions,” he affirmed.