The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, has revealed that the CBN Digital currency app, the eNaira app, has witnessed almost 600,000 downloads since its launch in October.

This is as the CBN boss said that the total transaction volumes using digital channels rose by over 153% between 2018 and 2020, as volumes rose from 1.3 billion to over 3.3 billion financial transactions in 2020.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, this disclosure was made by Emefiele while speaking at the 56th Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) Annual Bankers Dinner, on Friday night, at the Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos.

What the CBN Governor is saying

Emefiele said, “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.’’

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.

He said, “The growing pace of digitization globally, makes it essential that we leverage digital channels in fulfilling this objective.’’

He said that digital payment channels also helped to support the continued conduct of business activities during the lockdown.

Emefiele noted that the banking sector’s robust payment system has continued to evolve towards meeting the needs of households and businesses in Nigeria, with about $900 million being invested between 2015 and 2021 in firms founded and run by Nigerians, showing the level of confidence in the nation’s payment system.

Going further he said, “Notwithstanding these gains, close to 36 per cent 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.’’

What you should know

Recall that on October 25, 2021, President Muhammadu Buhari, formally launched Nigeria’s digital currency, the eNaira, with an assertion that it is expected to increase Nigeria’s GDP by $29 billion over the next 10 years.

The eNaira’s new payment system which has taken 4 years to crystallise, will drive financial inclusion, serve as a backbone for electronic payment in Nigeria, increase remittance, improve cross border trade and also enable the movement of more people from the informal to the formal sector, hence scaling up the tax base of the country.