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According to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), attempts are being made to make Nigeria’s economy entirely cashless. 

This was declared by CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele on Tuesday in Lagos at the celebration of the first year after the launch of the eNaira. 

On October 25, 2021, President Muhammadu Buhari publicly introduced digital money at the state house in Abuja. 

Over the following ten years, it was predicted that the eNaira and the blockchain technology that underpins it will boost Nigeria’s GDP by $29 billion.

Increasing the country’s revenue base, according to Buhari, would enable people and businesses to transition from the informal to the official economy.

But more importantly, the introduction of the virtual currency was justified by the fact that “the usage of actual cash in doing business and making payments has been on the wane” and was intended to advance CBN’s cashless strategy. 

Emefiele stated during his speech at the anniversary that Nigeria must transition from a largely cash-based economy to one that is cashless.

The destination as far as I am concerned is to achieve a 100 percent cashless economy in Nigeria. I know that those who doubt us will say that 100 percent cashless is unattainable. Yes, it is true! But, Nigeria must move from being a predominantly cash economy to a predominantly cashless economy. At this time, I can say from what I have read from online banking to introducing the POS to ATMs, to mobile banking, working and collaborating with the ministry of education, I want to say that we have provided all the necessary infrastructure that should enable us to make cashless a nationwide journey. It is not something that some of us will like, but we would in the coming weeks and months make pronouncements that must make cashless go nationwide. I believe part of those pronouncements will begin from tomorrow and there will be some breaking news tomorrow about it. Even the bankers committee will hold a special bankers committee meeting to deliberate further on this, so let’s expect the news.”

Emefiele noted that nearly eight billion transactions were made with the eNaira in its first year of operation, which was another product provided to encourage Nigerians to adopt a cashless society. 

He added that because the eNaira was a voyage of possibilities rather than an one occurrence, the apex bank will continue to improve, tweak, and update it. 

The CBN governor stated that Nigerians should anticipate seeing more features in the upcoming months.

“The additional functionalities include onboarding of revenue collection agencies to increase and simplify collections,” he added.

“Collaborating with the ministry of humanitarian affairs through the creation of sector-specific tokens to support the federal government’s social programmes and distribution of targeted welfare schemes in a bid to lift millions out of poverty by 2025.”

Emefiele also promised that the top bank will keep taking strong action to promote innovation while while defending the interests of customers and other stakeholders. 

The governor of Lagos, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, commended Emefiele for having the guts to launch the program and for the progress it had made in the previous year in furthering the inclusion policy in the financial sector. 

In his capacity as Sanwo-representative, Olu’s Rabiu Olowo, commissioner of finance for the state of Lagos, encouraged CBN to win the public’s faith in the product.

The need to engender the trust of the people in this product cannot be overemphasised,” he said.

That’s why financial literacy, advocacy, education campaign is very important as we move on, to get this product ready for its versatility, where it can be quickly and easily deployed to give out stimulus checks to the lowest income groups who need government handouts and intervention the most, especially during recession or during significant situation like the one we experienced during COVID-19 pandemic. This is the epitome of the influence that this innovation can have on inclusive growth and development of a nation.”


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