The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has expressed optimism that the Bank will achieve the 85% financial inclusion rate target in Nigeria, within a very short period from its current rate of slightly below 70%.
Mr. Emefiele disclosed this in Abuja at the Bank’s Head Office in Abuja, while playing host to a delegation of Executive Directors from the Bank of Uganda, who were on an experience sharing tour of the CBN’s Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) project on Monday, May 9, 2022. He noted that the CBN was committed to accelerating the rate at which those who were financially excluded could come into the formal banking sector.
He expressed satisfaction that the country’s Central Bank Digital Currency, the eNaira, had recorded some level of success judging by the rate of integration and security features, adding that the CBDC will enhance the relationship between mobile banking and e-business and speed up the rate of financial inclusion.
The CBN Governor also noted that the interest the novel eNaira was attracting from other countries and multinational bodies such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) 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 equally stressing that the country had deepened its payment system infrastructure, which he noted was ranked among the best in the world, Mr. Emefiele paid tribute to his predecessor in office, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, for laying the foundation upon which the country’s current payments system was built. He recalled that Sanusi, as then CBN Governor, appointed him chairman of the sub-committee of the 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.
He, therefore, charged the Executive Directors (Deputy Governors equivalent) of the Bank of Uganda to strive to strengthen their country’s payment system, noting that a strong payment system remained the bedrock for the successful take-off of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).
The delegation from the Bank of Uganda (BoU) comprised; Executive Director and Economic Adviser to the Governor, BoU, Dr. Jacob Opolot; the Executive Director, Information Technology, BoU, Mr. Richard Mayebo; Executive Director, Finance, BoU, Mr. Richard Byarugaba; and the Ag. Director, National Payments Systems Department, Mr. Andrew Kawere.