The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Monday, launched the eNaira platform.
The eNaira is a culmination of several years of research work by the Central Bank of Nigeria in advancing the boundaries of payments system in order to make financial transactions easier and seamless for every stratum of society.
The launch was described by CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, as the first in Africa and one of the earliest around the world.
Emefiele said, “Mr President, today you make history, yet again, with the launch of the eNaira – the first in Africa and one of the earliest around the world.
“Mr. President, as you make groundbreaking reforms, there has been continuing debate on the true value of the Naira.
“Rather than worry today on the direction of the exchange rate, let us take a step back and analyse how we got here in the first place.”
On his part, Buhari said alongside digital innovations, Central Bank Digital Currency can foster economic growth through better economic activities, increase remittances, improve financial inclusion and make monetary policy more effective.
“Let me note that aside from the global trend to create Digital Currencies, we believe that there are Nigeria-specific benefits that cut across different sectors of and concerns of the economy.
“The use of CBDCs can help move many more people and businesses from the informal into the formal sector, thereby increasing the tax base of the country,” he said.
Assuring Nigerians of the safety and scalability of the CBDC system, Buhari said the journey to create a digital currency for Nigeria began sometime in 2017.
“Work intensified over the past several months with several brainstorming exercises, deployment of technical partners and advisers, collaboration with the Ministries of Communication and Digital Economy and its sister agencies like the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), integration of banking software across the country and painstaking tests to ensure the robustness, safety and scalability of the CBDC System,” he said.