By Ezra Ukanwa
The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has revealed that the eNaira application has so far recorded a total digital transaction valued at about N8 billion as at the end of October, 2022.
Recall that the eNaira was launched on the 25th of October, 2021 by President Muhammadu Buhari, under the slogan: “Same Naira, More Possibilities” thereby listing Nigeria as the first country in Africa and one of the pioneer countries in the world to develop an official digital currency.
The Director of Information Technology, CBN Hajiya Rakiyat Mohammed who made the disclosure on Monday at the Presentation and Unboarding of e-Naira session during the Second Africa Payment Systems Conference in Abuja went further to state that customers who are currently on the eNaira platform will at the moment continue to enjoy seamless peer to peer transactions are at no charge.
Represented by the Deputy Director Information Technology of CBN, Abayomi Oyeleke, said that Nigerians who buy into the e-naira platform stand to gain a lot benefits including real-time transactions on a secured digital wallet with zero down time adding that the project is supported with a very resilient blockchain technology.
She said that the eNaira was developed to broaden payment platforms in Nigeria, foster digital financial inclusion with a potential for fast-tracking intergovernmental and social transfers, capital flow and remittances.
She averred that the introduction of the eNaira has changed the business ecosystem, reduced cash transactions, eliminated the risks associated with cash transactions and opened more digital financial frontiers for bank customers.
According to her, eNaira also opened business opportunities, enhanced financial inclusion as the teeming unemployed youths in Nigeria can cash into the opportunities by provide financial services to bank customers in remote, unbanked, and underbanked parts of the country.
She explained that the eNaira platform will be expanded in the nearest future to include more financial products. She further hinted that several layers of security and transaction limits have been consciously put in place to ensure that the wallet of eNaira customers are not compromised.
“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” she said.
In his concluding remarks, Oyeleke humorously explained how easy it is to get on the eNaira platform. He simplified it thus: “Get it, Fund it and Use it”.
Also in his speech, Director General of Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Inuwa Kashifu Abdullahi said that the future of cash is now become bleak on daily basis.
He said that investing into cashless infrastructure will not only reduce the cost implication of cash maintenance, curb insecurity, reduce corruption, reduce financial losses but more importantly lead to more investment in financial infrastructure, job creation and ensure that financial services are available in all parts of the country.
Earlier in his welcome address, Director at Foreign Investment Network, FIN, Akin Fayomi, said that the event will serve as a launching pad for the international business community to explore investment opportunities in Africa and other emerging markets.
He said that it will stimulate wider investment exchange between countries/organizations towards a prosperous Africa and also serve as a platform for states to build partnerships, foster business relationships, improve financial inclusion, strength local currencies, improve global financial operations and create balanced economic policies.
“In the coming days, we expect more financial institutions to tilt towards embedded finance and digital banking services offered by non-banks just as telecommunication companies, hotels and auto manufacturers are increasingly integrating financial products and services into their digital platforms”, Fayomi said.
The event came to a close with the Cashless Award conferred on individual and cooperate organizations that distinguished themselves by investing or promoting cashless economy.
Some of the recipients include: Inuwa Kashifu Abdullahi, DG NITDA, Mr. Umar Aliya Chief Financial Officer, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPC LTD), Brig. Gen Dr. Amb. Willam Wallace, Hon. Consul General of Antigua & Barbuda to Nigeria, Sam Bantu CEO Crossgate Solutions Kenya, Brian Stuart young CEO Global Bank of Commerce Ltd. Antigua and more others.