The Central Bank of Nigeria has said e-Naira will strengthen the banking system and make it easier to comply with existing laws such as anti-money laundering, customer protection against fraud and ensuring the safety and stability of the payment system.
The Deputy Governor Operations, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Folashodun Shonubi, said this at the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria advocacy series webinar held on Thursday.
Shonubi said, “The Central Bank in its implementation has ensured the e-Naira feeds our economy and provides greater value.
“The central bank digital currency offers all the benefits of cash but in digital form. Every single digital currency is an electronic version of the cash, the legal tender. When you make a cash payment, settlement is done instantly; digital currencies entail the same promises and even more.”
He added, “CBDC offers a safer option from the privately issued cryptocurrency which have been based on the possibility to enable cheaper transactions but have now been used for investment.
“The intention is not to eliminate other forms of payment but to complement the current areas of payment options, thereby ensuring the stability of the payment system in the long run. I expect in the coming days we will see rapid inclusion rates.
“For banks in developing nations, it will enhance their liquidity, efficiency in national remittances and challenge the high cost of remittances as the world rebounds in the post-pandemic.
“I am of the view that the era of CBDC promotes greater opportunities, and the central bank must be aware of the risks and mitigate them.”
On his part, Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mr Lamido Yuguda said, “The pilot project on the E-Naira is about to be launched in October. People would want to position their digital currencies in such a way that many other users, beyond their borders, would use this particular currency.”
Yuguda said that the digital currency would help improve the capital market when combined with vibrant inter-developmental policies, which would lead to financial inclusion, especially in the capital market.
He added, “This is an opportunity for the fintech market to connect our people to existing opportunities in the financial market, connecting our people with investment opportunities in other climes. Once we do that, we would grow our market, Nigeria has 200 million people. We are blessed with a hardworking youthful population.
“This capital market would in turn finance the necessary infrastructure investment that this country needs today.”
President, Fintech Nigeria, Ade Bajomo, said “The digital currency brings the opportunities to reduce poverty and increase financial inclusion. There are opportunities in terms of resilience, accelerating cross border payment, and promoting financial inclusion.”
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Bajomo added that it provided an opportunity to explore the Fintech and the digitalisation of Nigeria and empower innovators and financial services companies to innovate.