By Azeez Disu
Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), says that in less than four weeks, the eNaira app had witnessed almost 600,000 downloads since its launch in October.
Emefiele made the disclosure at the 56th Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) Annual Bankers Dinner, on Friday night at the Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos.
“In less than 4 weeks since its launch, almost 600,000 downloads of the e-Naira application have taken place.
“Efforts are ongoing to encourage faster adoption of the e-Naira by Nigerians who do not have smartphones.
“The support of the financial industry will be critical in the ongoing deployment of the e-Naira and efforts are ongoing to encourage continued partnership between the CBN and stakeholders in the financial industry,’’ he said.
The CBN governor noted that building a robust payment system that would provide cheap, efficient, and faster means of conducting payments for most Nigerians have always been the focus of the apex bank.
According to him, “the growing pace of digitization globally, makes it essential that we leverage digital channels in fulfilling this objective”.
Emefiele said that total transaction volumes using digital channels more than doubled between 2018 and 2020, as volumes rose from 1.3 billion to over 3.3 billion financial transactions in 2020.
He said that Digital payment channels also helped to support continued conduct of business activities during the lockdown.
He said the banking sector’s robust payment system has continued to evolve towards meeting the needs of households and businesses in Nigeria, reflective of the confidence in our payment system, indicating that between 2015 and September 2021, about US$900 million has been invested in firms run by Nigerian founders.
“Notwithstanding these gains, close to 36 percent of adult Nigerians do not have access to financial services.
“Improving access to finance for individuals and businesses through digital channels can help to improve financial inclusion, lower the cost of transactions, and increase the flow of credit to households and businesses,’’ he stressed.
The apex bank governor also spoke about the CBN’s plan to establish an International Financial Centre at the Eko Atlantic City for investors seeking to invest in critical sectors of the economy.
He noted that a key challenge to supporting growth in key sectors of our economy is access to large pools of cheap investment capital.
“Today over US$100 trillion is held by institutional investors in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, most of it invested in low-yielding assets relative to high-yielding opportunities in Nigeria.
“Working to tap into this pool of funds will require the set up of an investment framework that offers comfort and security to investors seeking to invest in critical sectors of our economy.
“In this regard, the Central Bank of Nigeria is working to set up an International Financial Center at the Eko Atlantic City in Lagos that will serve as a hub for attracting domestic and external capital which is needed to strengthen our post-COVI economy.
“The International Finance Center, when fully operational in the 2nd quarter of 2022, will help to position Nigeria as a key destination for investment in Africa,’’ Emefiele said.
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