The introduction of the Central Bank of Nigeria digital currency tagged eNaira has effectively redirected attention to Nigeria given the initial strict stands of the apex bank on crypto-currency.
The CBN had disclosed that the pilot phase of eNaira will come on stream by October 1, a development that has signalled high-level preparedness towards the launch.
As the Monetary Policy Committee of CBN prepares for its September 2021 meeting, the Bank has reiterated that its digital currency, eNaira, scheduled to be unveiled in the last quarter of 2021, will enhance the effectiveness of its monetary policy.
Justifying the foray into digital currency
The Governor of the Central Bank, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, listed the benefits of the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) to include increased cross-border trade, accelerated financial inclusion, cheaper and faster remittance inflows, easier targeted social interventions, as well as improvements in monetary policy effectiveness, payment systems efficiency, and tax collection.
Speaking in Abuja, the Director, Corporate Communications Department, Osita Nwanisobi highlighted the benefits of the eNaira to include a marked improvement in its monetary policy transmission, adding that transactions on the eNaira will be at lower cost and greater time efficiency for all users.
According to him, the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), which he noted would complement rather than replace the paper money and coins currently in circulation, would also facilitate cross-border remittances as well as improve efficiency in the payment system.
He further explained that the eNaira had the potential to resolve many of the issues currently associated with cross-border payment and could help improve forex accretion and utilization.
In addition, he said issuing a CBDC could reduce demand for foreign currencies as Nigerians could use CBDC to transact both locally and across borders in future.