Nigeria’s apex bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has announced plans to cut the physical or paper version of the naira out of circulation to increase the adoption rate of the e-naira. The e-naira is the digital version of the naira launched last year by the central bank.
On Friday, Mr. Godwin Okafor, the Delta State Branch Controller of the CBN made the reveal while urging market traders to get on board with the e-naira. He encouraged the traders to be a part of the central bank’s e-naira policy.
While speaking to traders at the Ogbogonogo market about the e-naira he said that “We are here at the market today to sensitize the market people on the use of e-Naira. It is fully backed by CBN, unlike Bitcoin which has no legal backing.”
“We are here to sensitise market men and women, shop to shop on the use of e-Naira. CBN has gone behind ATM, POS, therefore, we are going to meet the Okada/tricycle union on this policy. Paper currency will soon be out of circulation because CBN spent money to print money. People abuse the currency in the market, spraying at the occasion, payment of Okada/tricycle and others and CBN is losing,” the consultant of CBN on e-Naira, Dr. Aminu Bizi, said adding that Delta was chosen as the second state to sensitise market women on e-Naira after Lagos.
According to him, the e-naira was very effective and saved users from charges incurred from using financial outlets like ATMs and POS which are prone to hacks and other challenges.
The Secretary to the State Government, Chief Patrick Ukah, lauded the CBN for the e-Naira initiative. He was represented by Mr. Benson Ojoko, the Director of Finance and Account in the office of SSG who mentioned how the state was excited about the CBN programmes such as the e-naira. He praised the e-naira and mentioned the role it’d play bin putting the country in the frontline of international finance.
The e-naira was launched last year as a way to foster economic growth, provide a cheaper and safer way for foreign remittances, narrow the financial gap, etc. The “e-Naira is a Central Bank of Nigeria-issued digital currency that provides a unique form of money denominated in Naira. e-Naira serves as both a medium of exchange and a store of value, offering better payment prospects in retail transactions when compared to cash payments. e-Naira has an exclusive operational structure that is both remarkable and nothing like other forms of central bank money.”
Cutting the amount of paper naira in circulation may be a way to raise the adoption rate of the e-naira.