Friday, June 9, 2023
HomeBusinessCBN Set To Launch Digital Currency

CBN Set To Launch Digital Currency

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced that the much-anticipated digital currency will be available to Nigerians before the end of the year, as the bank is virtually finished with all of the necessary stages.

Rakiy Mohammed, Director, Information Technology Department, revealed this to the press on Thursday after a virtual meeting of the Bankers’ Committee with Herbert Wigwe of Access Bank, Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe of Fidelity Bank, Abubakar Sulaiman of Sterling Bank, and Akinwuntan of Ecobank.

She said, The CBN, like other central bankers across the world, is about complet­ing the process of launch­ing a digital currency. You are all aware that about 80 percent of central banks in the world are exploring the possibility of issuing cen­tral bank digital currency and Nigeria’s CBN cannot be left behind. So, I am hap­py to announce that for over two years we have been ex­ploring this technology and we have made tremendous progress.

“You are aware that we have two forms of fiat mon­ey in Nigeria. They are the notes and the coins and the third one is digital currency. Digital currency is not new in Nigeria and we are the third or sixth in the advance­ment of digital money in the world. This complements the cash and the coins that we have. The central bank dig­ital currency will just be as good as having cash in your pocket.

“You are going to have the cash on your phone. Before the end of the year, the CBN will launch the pilot scheme.

“We are at about 60 per­cent in financial inclusion and at the rate we are go­ing we may not be able to achieve the 80 percent inclu­sion target for this year but with digital currency, it will accelerate the ability to meet the target.

“It will enable innovation in payment system services. We are about to move to the state of a proof of concept. We will involve the banks in the execution of this noble idea.

“When launched, the dig­ital currency will be accessi­ble to everybody just the way the local currency is accessi­ble to everyone today”.

Mohammed said the CBN will be making an announce­ment on this very soon.

While responding to ques­tions, Managing Director, Access Bank, Herbert Wig­we, said the CBN has prom­ised that it will keep faith with the forex allocation to banks and that banks are now ready to respond to gen­uine demands for forex for BTA, PTA and other genu­ine requests by operators of small, medium enterprises for importation of raw ma­terials and equipment.

He said, “All banks are encouraged to assist SMEs who request forex for impor­tation of equipment as well as respond to requests for basic travelling allowance (BTA).”

Sterling Bank’s Managing Director, Abubakar Sulaim­an, said, “CBN has provided sufficient forex to meet the legitimate need of all travel­lers. And therefore the idea of going to any other mar­ket does not arise at all. To all business owners, if you have a business and you have a legitimate need, please all the banks are positioned to provide the needed forex”.

In her response, Fidelity Bank’s Chief Executive Of­ficer, Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, said, “The CBN will assist the foreign exchange market with the upcoming summer resumption in September and resumption of students. The CBN has said that all the banks must make forex available to anyone who wants to buy BTA, PTA, med­ical fees, student school fees and all eligible fees to ensure that Nigerians are not forced to use the parallel market”.

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Recent Comments