The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has admitted that its innovation, the e-Naira will leave banks at a disadvantage.
The Governor of the Apex Bank, Godwin Emefiele stated this during the 286th meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) held in Lagos earlier this week.
Emefiele said that the pace of adoption of the CBDC remains low because banks were yet to come to terms with the initiative.
This, it seems was because the transactions carried out with the CBDC do not attract charges, unlike bank transactions.
According to Emefiele, the e-Naira is also the product that has the lowest cost in terms of moving money electronically from one location to another.
“You may go to your bank, they may be a little bit resistant to you because moving their money from your account into your wallet is a disadvantage to the banks. I want to say so boldly and bluntly that it is a disadvantage to them”, he said.
Despite this, the CBN Governor encouraged Nigerians who are interested in using the e-Naira to demand the service from their banks stating that “it will cost you little or nothing compared to those other products that you have that will cost you money in the bank. There is apathy by the banks because they know they will lose some income and so you should insist on using your wallet to do your transactions.
He further said that the partnership between the CBN and Mobile Service provider, MTN Nigeria has yielded results, as the duo will soon launch the USSD code *997##, to cater to the unbanked who may want to use the e-Naira.
“once this is done, we are going to be targeting the unbanked population and we are also going to be using agency banking arrangements available and other means to ensure that we increase the awareness of our eNaira product.
Nigeria is the second country in the world to launch a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).
Speaking recently during a program organized by the Africa Fintech Foundry, Emefiele said that the introduction of the e-Naira to Nigeria’s payment space will boost trade, investments, and other economic activities in the country.
“We cannot deny the fact that the newly introduced CBDC (eNaira) would be necessary in the future to ensure Nigeria is competitive as the world becomes increasingly digital. We have seen in the past few years how digital currencies have opened international economies to individuals who wield them and how seamless they have made trading, buying, investing, and other economic activities,” he said.