CBN Explains Gains of e-Naira

From George Okoh In Makurdi

The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele has  disclosed that the e-Naira launched by the Apex bank has recorded a huge success.

Emefiele spoke at the opening ceremony of the two-day ongoing CBN Fair 2022 held concurrently in Makurdi, Benue State and Lafia in Nasarawa State.

Represented by Osita Nwanisobi, the Director of Corporate Communications of the CBN, the Governor noted that the e-Naira became necessary for Nigeria to keep pace with other countries of the world.

“Nigeria is incidentally the first country in Africa that has launched the CBDC – Central Bank Digital Currency – the e-Naira,” he said.

He explained that the fair was meant to inform Nigerians about what the CBN was doing, essentially, for three main reasons to educate, inform the public about its policies and interventions and how they can benefit from it.

The governor stressed that not many people have heard about the e-Naira, hence the need for sensitisation even as CBN remain committed to ensuring that more people in the country are financially included.

“We will be onboarding so many of you who are not already onboarded on the e-Naira wallet. If you have your smart phones we will help you to do that but for those who don’t have smartphones, you know this Nokia; we are coming on to also get you onboarded. We are working on the features and overtime, you will also be onboarded. 

“The whole essence is to ensure that more persons in this country are financially included. If you see what has happened in the terms of evolutions of money from commodity to metallic, then paper,  to plastic and now we are talking of digital. And so, we need to be at pace with where the world is moving,” Emefiele posited.

“If you see what has happened in terms of the evolution of money; from commodity to metallic, to credit to paper to plastic and now we are talking of digital, we need to be at pace with where the world is moving. Nigeria incidentally is the first country in Africa that has launched the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), and that is the eNaira.

Speaking on the Developmental Financing initiative of the CBN, Emefiele noted that having recognized that one of the major problems that majority of Nigerians, especially youths have, is access to finance, the CBN is now looking at how to meet the financial needs of those who have business ideas but are not financially capable to effectuate those ideas.

“The days are gone. I remember in our days, we all finish and carry our certificates and the next thing we are looking for jobs and all that. But you see, the world is both moving and the world is also evolving. Today, we are looking at who are the creative individuals who might even still be in school and still be able to thinker around certain things they can do.

“The CBN recognizes that one of the major problems that you have is access to finance. You might have all the ideas. If you go to any institution for credit, the first thing you hear is collateral; bring an arm and the leg and so on. And you wonder where you will be getting the collateral when you’re just getting out of school.

“But the CBN is now saying that there are certain products that you can leverage on to effectuate those ideas that you have. The CBN will be speaking to those needs. The CBN is now thinking Agriculture and Small Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (ASMEIS) will be speaking especially to those who don’t have collateral.

“It speaks about agric business, small medium enterprises. And most importantly to those who don’t have collateral. You’re not expected to come with any collateral. What is important is the business idea that you have and perhaps, you’ve done certain level of training. And you’re good to go,” he said.

Earlier, the CBN Branch Controller in Makurdi, John Odekina, in his welcome address at the fair, said 

the gathering was intiated for the populace to talk to CBN concerning whatever was bothering them about their financial matters.

Cross section of participants, include farmers, students, worker and marketers participated in the event.

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