Central Bank of Nigeria CBN has said that its Digital Currency, is designed to complement rather than replace the existing paper money and coins currently in circulation. The apex bank said that eNaira would also facilitate cross-border remittances as well as improved efficiency in payment system. Speaking in Abuja to journalist the Director, Corporate Communications Department, Osita Nwanisobi highlighted the benefits of the eNaira to include a marked improvement in its monetary policy transmission, adding that transactions on the eNaira will be at lower cost and greater time efficiency for all users.
He said that the selection process that saw Bitt emerge as the CBN’s preferred technical partner for the implementation of the CBDC from a group of 15 prospective technical partners, Nwanisobi said that the Bank adhered to the provisions of the Bureau of Public Procurement as stipulated in the Public Procurement Act. He further said that the eNaira had the potential to resolve many of the issues currently associated with cross-border payment and could help improve forex accretion and utilisation. In addition, he said issuing a CBDC could reduce demand for foreign currencies as Nigerians could use CBDC to transact both locally and across borders in future.
The CBN spokesperson emphasised that the Bank based its selection assessment on technology ownership and control; implementation timeline; efficiency, ease of adoption; support for anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT); platform security; interoperability; and implementation experience, among others. “Bitt was the first company to digitize a national currency on a blockchain, thus creating the first synthetic CBDC, with the support of the Central Bank of Barbados Governor and the Minister of Finance. That system is still in operation today,” he explained.
While urging members of the public to embrace the eNaira upon unveiling, in the forthcoming weeks, he also enjoined stakeholders to support the Bank’s policies, stressing that the CBN remained focused on its resolve of being a people-centered Central Bank. As the Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) prepares for its September 2021 meeting, the Bank has reiterated that its digital currency, eNaira, scheduled to be unveiled in the last quarter of 2021, will enhance the effectiveness of its monetary policy.