The Central Bank of Nigeria has explained the importance of e-naira, a digital currency it promised to launch in the country by the end of 2021.
According to the CBN, the country’s adoption of digital currency would boost cross-border trade and enable the apex bank to formulate better macroeconomic policies.
The Director, Information and Technology, CBN, Rakitya Muhammed opined this while speaking virtually at the Third Quarter Industry Forum of the Committee of E-business Industry Heads held in Abuja on Wednesday, September 22, 2021.
She said, “If people adopt more of the usage of the e-naira, then we will be able to have more data to formulate better macroeconomic policies.
“And when countries come on board and create their own digital currencies then we will be able to have a faster exchange of currencies and therefore we might be able to boost cross-border trade at a much lower cost.
Of course payment efficiency, even though we know that Nigeria has one of the best payment systems in the world, we will still be able to improve on that.
“We believe that the e-naira will be a catalyst for digital economy because the people who are outside the formal banking sector will be integrated.”
On the e-naira design, she said that the CBN had concluded its development, and it would soon be unveiled.
She further said that the digital currency would be a legal tender like the fiat naira.
“In terms of the e-naira design, it will be a legal tender just like cash which is one of the fundamental differences between it and the cryptocurrency.
“One, e-naira will be equal to one fiat naira, and we adopted a two-tier retail model that would be a lot less disruption into the financial system.
“Our banks, payment service providers, and Fintech are all going to be on board and we are going to key to the infrastructure they have already and incorporate the new system.
“It is not meant to replace the cash we have, but only to supplement,” she said.