The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN has disclosed that over 20 million Nigerians have so far keyed into the e-naira initiative and urged others to embrace the initiative for daily seamless transactions.
The bank which took the e-naira campaign to the University of Jos, urged the management, staff and students to make use of the e-naira wallets as everything has been made simple for cost-effective transactions.
The CBN Jos Branch Controller, Esther Tinat who addressed the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tanko Ishaya, his management team and the representatives of students said the e-naira initiative which started in 2021 is very easy to use.
She said, “We are here to flag off the e-naira which the CBN started in October 2021. After going through so many tests, it has come to stay, the purpose of this is that we want to capture the students because they will take it around, pay courtesy visits to the VC and flag off using the campus because we want school fees to be paid using the e-naira.
“The CBN is the first in Africa to hold this digital currency, Nigeria is moving forward, and we want to encourage the merchant, everybody to enrol on this platform. Jos is the 10th to be enrolled, it has taken place in other cities, Port Harcourt, Lagos and others. The economy of the world is evolving; it is transforming so neither will the CBN want to be left behind so we decided to key into it.
“This will be done through technology which will make transactions very easy. Once you have the wallet, you can purchase anything through the e-naira. We are bringing it to the University, with the permission of the VC, everyone can start using the e-naira to pay school fees and purchase anything. Even if you want to have the cash, you can transfer it from your wallet to your bank account and then withdraw it.
“This is a Nigeria project, not just a CBN project, the cost of the transaction will be made easy. We encourage our children here to use it, we have the merchant and the individual wallets, and we plead to the University to embrace the e-naira.”
A CBN e-naira consultant, Izuchukwu Nwankpa added that so far, “over 20 million people have keyed into the initiative,” as Joseph Agai of the Zenith Bank explained, “The e-naira is not different from the cash that we already use, it is just to improve the payment system to make it more robust and widen the opportunity for people to make payment.
“The e-naira is designed to facilitate small transactions, you can attest to the challenges we had when everybody tried to do small transactions using the electronic platforms which are designed for high-level transactions. The e-naira is very seamless to use, students are very important stakeholders in this project, they are more receptive to technology and they embrace the opportunities it provides for them to do a lot of things.
“We have been talking to stakeholders, going forward, you will find out that even salaries for some government agencies will begin to be paid using the e-naira. The e-naira is virtually cost-free, people complain about bank charges but for financial inclusion drive, we have to reduce the cost of banking services hence the e-naira.”
However, the VC and other principal staff wondered why the CBN is in such a hurry to implement the initiative when there are so many unresolved issues in the banking sector, sought clarifications on the working of the e-naira and called for improved technology to ensure the process of payment is not cumbersome