Obiora: Nigeria’s Digital Payment Valued at $2.4 trillion

Nume Ekeghe

The Deputy Governor, Economic Policy Directorate, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dr. Kingsley Obiora has noted that Nigeria’s sophistication in digital payments has seen it grow from around $324 billion in 2008 to $2.4 trillion presently.

He said this over the weekend at the virtual International Monetary Fund (IMF) African Department Speakers Series.

The session, which was moderated by the Director of IMF’s African Department, Abebe Selassie, was titled, “Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) and Private Digital Payments in Kenya and Nigeria: Challenges and Opportunities for Sub-Saharan Africa.”

Obiora said: “Nigeria is building one of the best payment systems in the world as we speak. Even in digital payments, we’ve seen the value of our digital payments grew from around $324 billion in 2008 to about $2.4 trillion now, so Nigerians are already very used to digital payments. As you know, even within the continental have one of the largest FinTech companies flutterwave and a lot more or Opay, Paystack stack come on board every year.”

He also added that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced plans to introduce an unstructured supplementary service data (USSD) code to improve the adoption of its eNaira.

He noted that the introduction of the USSD code is crucial to improve financial inclusion in the country and to ensure people without smartphones could still transact on the eNaira platform.

“We have made serious progress in the last seven to eight years because when the current governor resumed in 2014, one of the pillars of his vision was to significantly improve financial inclusion.

“So at the time, we were at 48 percent of our population within the financial system and given several policies that he conceived and implemented, we are almost at 70 percent. That still leaves us with about 30 percent of our population out of the financial system and we believe the CBDC can help reduce that number even more, “he said..

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