Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has positively stated that the bank will achieve the 85 percent financial inclusion rate target in Nigeria within a very short period from its current rate of slightly below 70 percent.
A statement from the CBN on Monday said Emefiele spoke in Abuja at the bank’s head office while receiving a delegation of executive directors from the Bank of Uganda, who were on an experience sharing a tour of the CBN’s Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).
He said the CBN was committed to accelerating the rate at which financially excluded people could come into the formal banking sector.
Emefiele expressed joy that the country’s CBDC, the eNaira, had recorded some success judging by the rate of integration and security features.
The CBDC, he added, would enhance the relationship between mobile banking and e-business and speed up the rate of financial inclusion.
Emefiele also noted that the interest that the novel eNaira was attracting from other countries and multinational bodies such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank underscored the level and quality of work the CBN had put into the project.
Although he noted that Nigeria, being the first country in Africa to launch its CBDC, was a case study to other climes, he said the country was treading cautiously to ensure it sustains the successes recorded thus far.
While saying the country had deepened its payment system infrastructure, which he noted was ranked among the best in the world, Emefiele paid tribute to his predecessor in office, Lamido Sanusi, for laying the foundation upon which Nigeria’s current payments system is built on.
He recalled that Sanusi, as then CBN Governor, appointed him chairman of the sub-committee of the Bankers’ Committee to lead the payments system drive in 2012, adding that the move paved the way for innovative ideas that eventually led to the creation of the eNaira.
Emefiele charged the Executive Directors (Deputy governors equivalent) of the Bank of Uganda to strengthen their country’s payment system, noting that a strong payment system remained the bedrock for the successful take-off of a CBDC.