By Mbafan Ade (BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT) –
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), on Wednesday said yesterday it had concluded plans to launch the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) on October 1.
Director of Information Technology, Rukiya Mohammed, made this known in a webinar, organised by the committee of e-Business in industry Heads Nigeria (CeBIH), with the theme “Digital currency and the prospects of CBDC in Nigeria.”
Mohammed, who noted that the use of digital payment was rising while cash payment was declining both in Nigeria and globally, said that over 85 per cent of Central Banks worldwide were considering digital currency and so CBN was also innovative to cope with global trends.
She said: “CBDC would contribute to macro-economic growth in the country, if people adopt more of the usage of the e-naira, it would enhance more data to formulate macro economic policies.
“Also, when more countries have their own digital currencies, it would increase exchange of currency and be able to build cross border trade at lower cost.
“Even though Nigeria has a good payment system, this would also improve Nigeria’s payments efficiency.“
She said the CBN has partnered with a lot of experts in digital currency technology providers such as MasterCard, came up with the design and would soon publish the design.
According to the CBN Director, the apex bank would focus on low amount payments at the introductory stage, instant settlement with low cost.
“CBDC would be legal tender with one e-naira equivalent to one naira which shows fundamental differences between CBDC and crypto currencies,” she said.
Managing Director, First Bank Nigeria, Dr Adesola Adedutan, who Aaso spoke at the event, said that the apex bank’s CBDC was a game changer that would provide an alternative payment system and would radically transform the payment landscape.
Adedutan, who was represented by the Banks deputy chief executive, Mr Francis Soba, said CBDC provides a platform for the government to leverage blockchain technology to maintain a centralised and institutional role over of the currency.
’It should be noted that there are significant differences between CBDCs and cryptocurrencies,” he said.