The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, said the digital currency, eNaira, has recorded N8bn transactions in its one year of introduction.
He disclosed this while delivering his speech at the ‘eNaira 1-year anniversary’ event in Lagos on Tuesday.
He said, “Specifically, there has been overwhelming interest and encouraging response from Nigerians and other parties across the world as indicated by the following milestones:
“Thirty-three banks are fully integrated and live on the platform; N3bn has been successfully minted by the bank; N2.1bn has been issued to financial institutions; About 1.0 million (919,000) customers have been onboarded; Over 3,305 merchants have successfully registered on the eNaira platform across the country including Shoprite, Sahad Stores, A.A. Rano fuelling stations, Fraser Suites, November Cubes, among others; Over 700,000 transactions amounting to about N8bn have been recorded on the platform; Over 2.5 million daily visits to the eNaira website
As part of the CBN’s mandate of fostering a safe, credible, and robust payment system, he said the bank deployed the eNaira, Africa’s central bank digital currency in October 2021, given the potential benefits it portends for a digital economy.
The eNaira, he noted, was expected to enhance financial inclusion, support poverty reduction, enable direct welfare disbursement to citizens, support a resilient payments ecosystem, improve the availability and usability of central bank money, facilitate diaspora remittances, reduce the cost of processing cash, and reduce cost and improve the efficiency of cross-border payment among others.
“In summary, the eNaira is designed to provide Nigerians with a cheap, safe and trusted means of payment within the domestic and global economy,” he said.
To achieve the objectives, he said, the project adopted a phased- approach with the first phase focusing on building a resilient system and the onboarding of banked users, while the policy objective of the second phase bordered around financial inclusion using offline payments channels like agent networks, USSD, wearables, cards and near field communication technology, among others.
In addition, he said, the second phase also sought to deepen private sector participation and ultimately enhance Nigerians’ participation in the digital economy while promoting further development of a burgeoning Fintech ecosystem. This was being achieved through the activation of the innovation layer on the eNaira platform which created an avenue for products and services, he said.