The Vice Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Wahab Olasupo -Egbewole (SAN), has advised the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to make the e-Naira policy accessible to Nigerians abroad to facilitate the settlement of their international transactions.
Egbewole stated this on Monday when he received members of a delegation from the CBN and Zenith Bank Plc, who paid him a courtesy visit in Ilorin.
The delegation was on the university campus to sensitise the students and staff of the institution to the e-Naira policy tagged “Road map to e-Naira: An initiative of CBN in partnership with Zenith Bank”.
The VC observed that Nigerians who travel abroad find it difficult to spend or use any Nigeria account anywhere in the world, which is not a palatable experience.
The professor of Jurisprudence and International Law, urged the CBN to facilitate the acceptance of the e-Naira policy outside the shores of Nigeria, stressing that Nigeria would be making a statement in the commity of nations if this was achieved.
While welcoming the e-Naira initiative for accommodating offline transactions for the sake of unbanked Nigerians, Egbewole lamented that it was sad to see people from less developed countries using their bank cards outside their territories while Nigerians from a better and bigger economy were stranded.
The interactive session that involved the Principal Officers of the University and the officials of the CBN lasted two days with various officials presenting their arguments to convince the management of the University of Ilorin to accept and adopt the platform.
In his presentation, the Project Manager of e-Naira in the CBN, Mr Fadele Adeolu, said the Price waterhouse Coopers’ (PwC) recently adjudged the CBN’s Digital Currency (CBDC) as the best retail project index of central banks globally in 2022, which shows the level of work done on the policy by the CBN.
He explained that the e-Naira came to strengthen and enhance the existing payment channels and was not intended to replace or disrupt them.
Adeolu added that nothing had changed in the existing currency except the benefit such as payment efficiency, low cost of transactions, and payment transparency that the new policy brought to life.
While making further clarification on how it would benefit the University system, the e-Naira Project Manager explained that the CBN team has been engaging with the Accountant-General of the Federation and a committee was set up to look at the Treasury Single Account.
He said that the committee would soon come up with how government disbursement could be received via the e-Naira platform.
The project manager,however, said that the relationship between the University of Ilorin and the CBN was strategic and significant because the University was a research institution and the e-Naira idea was a product of research.
Other CBN officials who spoke in the same vein included Mr Izuchukwu Nwama and the acting Branch Controller of CBN in Kwara State, Mr Segun Rotimi Ogbonbolu.
In his contribution, the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic), Prof. Abayomi Omotesho, who represented the Vice Chancellor at the second meeting, said that if the e-Naira payment platform would help the University with payment efficiency, improve financial inclusion and act as a means for students to earn some money, then the institution’s management would support the policy.
He, however, suggested that the e-Naira team should start their engagement with the IPPIS and TSA, saying, once that was sorted out, universities in Nigeria would not have any problem adopting the policy.
Also contributing to the session, the Bursar, Mr Hakeem Sonde, said that the University of Ilorin being an institution of the Federal Government would support any policy initiative of the Federal Government.