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    e-Naira Transactions Hit N4bn, says CBN Gov

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    By Tony Tagbo, Abuja

    Central Bank Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, has revealed that the value of transactions on the digital currency (e-Naira) platforms since introduction last year has reached N4 billion.

    The CBN Governor also revealed that 270,000 active wallets comprises over 252,000 consumer wallets and 17,000 merchant wallets were downloaded on the platform.

    Emefiele who made these revelations during the e-Naira Hackathon grand finale in Abuja said digital currency will soon become part of “our lives” and that 8 million users would be the fresh target.

    The Governor also revealed that starting from next week, Nigerians will start using USSD Code For eNaira Transactions with a view to improving the acceptability of the eNaira system.

    The governor said, “As captured in the design paper released, eNaira is a journey, not a one-time event. This hackathon event is a continuation of that journey and the first among many to come given that the future of central banking is inextricably bound in innovation.

    “We don’t have a choice but to live with the fact that we are now in a digital economy. In a digital space where the use of cash will dissipate to almost zero and the use of digital currency will increase and will now become part of our lives.

    “The second phase of the project has begun and intended to drive financial inclusion by onboarding the unbanked and the underserved users leveraging offline channels. Hence greater success is envisioned for the project with phase two expected to deliver more gains with the target of eight million users based on estimation using the diffusion of innovation model.

    “I’m pleased and indeed delighted to inform you all today that by next week, Nigerians both banked and unbanked will be able to open an eNaira wallet and conduct transactions by simply dialing *997# from their mobile phones.”

    “Shortly after this, both merchants and consumers with bank accounts can use the NIBSS instant payment NIP to transfer and receive eNaira to any bank account of their choice. This will further deepen the integration of the eNaira with the existing national payment infrastructure,” he added.

    Emefiele pointed out that not withstanding “this appreciable progress, the second phase of the project has begun and is is intended to drive financial inclusion by onboarding unbanked and underserved users leveraging offline channels. Hence, greater success is envisioned for the project with phase two expected to deliver more gains with a target of about 8,000,000 active users based on estimations using the diffusion of innovation model”.

    Continuing, he said, “as we celebrate the successes achieved so far including the global recognition of the great job on-going by the CBN, it must be acknowledged that the journey is iterative and therefore, requires cutting-edge innovation to sustain the vision and achieve the set-out policy objectives.

    “Therefore, it is important to note that “Enabling Private Sector Innovation” is one of the three (3) foundational principles of Central bank Digital Currency (CBDC). Thus, this hackathon event today is neither a coincidence nor an accident but rather another forward leap by the Central Bank of Nigeria in the implementation of eNaira, to ensure all Nigerians receive the full benefits of a Central bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

    “The Hackathon is an initiative that creates a collaborative environment for experts with a diverse set of skills to drive sustained innovation geared towards making the eNaira the pinnacle for digital financial services and the gateway to the Digital Economy.

    “It is intended to sought solutions that would: drive financial inclusion, SME growth and the creation of start-ups; facilitate cross border trades and transfers as well as international remittances and FX exchanges; effective implementation of welfare-inclined government programs; and enhance efficiency in the interbank market.

    “Therefore, today’s event is targeted at providing an engagement with critical stakeholders in the financial technology spaceto deepen the link between eNaira and Fintechs”.

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