The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, on Thursday said that Nigeria is the first country in Africa to launch the digital currency known as the e-Naira.
Emefiele spoke at the opening ceremony of the two-day ongoing CBN Fair 2022 holding concurrently in Makurdi, Benue State and Lafia in Nasarawa State.
Represented by Osita Nwanisobi, the Director of the Corporate Communications Department of the CBN, the Governor noted that the e-Naira became necessary for Nigeria to keep pace with other countries of the world.
“Nigeria is incidentally the first country in Africa that has launched the CBDC – Central Bank Digital Currency — the e-Naira,” he said.
He explained that the fair holding simultaneously in Lafia and Makurdi was meant to inform Nigerians about what the CBN is doing, essentially, for three main reasons to educate; to inform the public about its policies and interventions; and how they can benefit from them.
The governor stressed that not many people have heard about the e-Naira, hence the need for sensitisation even as CBN remain committed to ensuring that more people in the country are financially included.
“We will be onboarding so many of you who are not already onboarded on the e-Naira wallet. If you have your smartphones we will help you to do that but for those who don’t have smartphones, you know this Nokia; we are coming on to also get you onboarded. We are working on the features and over time, you will also be onboarded.
“The whole essence is to ensure that more persons in this country are financially included. If you see what has happened in terms of evolutions of money from commodity to metallic, then paper, to plastic and now we are talking of digital. And so, we need to be at a pace with where the world is moving,” Emefiele posited.
Earlier, the CBN Branch Controller in Makurdi, John Odekina, in his welcome address at the fair, said
the gathering was initiated for the populace to talk to CBN concerning whatever was bothering them about their financial matters.