African Countries Attracted To Nigeria’s e-Naira Initiative- CBN

eNaira to support a resilient payment ecosystem – CBN – Blueprint  Newspapers Limited

Yemisi Izuora

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said that some African nations are understudying the success and acceptance of the e-Naira has attracted model and basics of the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

Speaking at the ongoing Lagos International Trade Fair yesterday, Director, Corporate Communications of the apex bank, Osita Nwanisobi, said with the adoption of the digital currency, Nigeria has become a model to Africa and beyond.

He said, “Presently, many African countries are in the country trying to understand and see how they can also start their own digital currency. Many central banks across the world are still trying to understand it and the CBN has made history as one of the first to achieve this. The world is moving away from fossil fuel and we are entering a digital world. If we do not join the train now, we would be left behind.”

He further noted that with the upgrade in the e-Naira wallet application, there ha been increased traction in the acceptance and usage of the digital currency in the country. According to him, there is a whole lot of enthusiasm from the public on the e-Naira.

Nwanisobi also  pledged CBN’s commitment to continue to support businesses to enable them create the desired economic and social value.

He said that over the years, the apex Bank had been playing a leading role in the efforts of the federal government to create a more business-friendly environment through various policies such as the secured transactions in Movable Assets Act. He stressed that the Act, was to ensure that Nigerians, especially small business owners, had easy access to credit facilities from banks and other financial institutions, using Movable assets.

The Director also said that the Bank had provided policy and financing support to businesses, especially the MSMEs through development finance initiatives, and he believed that the continued provision of access to finance to various sectors of the economy would promote inclusive growth and sustainable development.

“For the records, these initiatives include: the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS); the MSME Development Fund; the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP); and the Youth Entrepreneurship Development Programme (YEDP).

“In collaboration with the Bankers’ Committee, we also established the Agri-business/Small & Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS) and the Creative Industry Financing Initiative (CIFI) to provide access to finance for youth in the fashion, music, information technology and movie production verticals,” he said.

A beneficiary of Agri-Business/Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS), Mrs Mary Rose Adebayo, encouraged Nigerians to go for such facilities, as she accessed it without knowing an insider.

Adebayo who is the Managing Director of Meritgems Global Ltd, gave her testimony during the CBN Special Day at the 2021 Lagos International Trade Fair, on Thursday in Lagos.

in her testimony, she said that she accessed over N7.5 million AGSMEIS Loan without knowing anyone in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and it had changed her life and business.

AGSMEIS is an initiative to support the Federal Government’s efforts and policy measures for the promotion of agricultural businesses and small/medium enterprises (SMEs) as vehicles for sustainable economic development and employment generation.

Adebayo said she simply applied for the facility with her project plan, not believing anything would come out of it and was surprised when she was invited for an interview.

She said: ” I am here to let people know that CBN AGSMEIS Loan works and that I am a beneficiary.

“I used to say that in Nigeria nothing works, but on this fateful day, I decided to try my luck; in fact, I was surprised after I applied, immediately I got the loan.

“After getting the loan, I applied again and got another extra loan of N500.000 as working capital.

She said that she had utilised the facility judiciously and it had transformed her business, urging Nigerians not to be skeptical about accessibility to such government facilities.

Earlier, Mrs Toki Mabogunje, President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) said the CBN Digital payment platforms had played a critical role in facilitating trade and commerce across the world.

Acvording to her, CBN has supported the recovery of businesses as a result of the adverse impact of the COVID 19 pandemic through several special programmes.

“I wish to particularly commend the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, for the special programmes targetted at SMEs, young start-ups, targeted at sectors such as Agriculture, Entertainment, Technology, Manufacturing, etc.

” These programs have assisted several enterprises in boosting their operations, as basic jobs are becoming competitive in the international market,” she said.

She congratulated the apex bank on the launch of the eNaira, which according to her, was meant to expand payment gateways for digital transactions.

“The launching of the Nigeria digital currency the e-Naira is highly commendable and marks a milestone in Nigeria digital economy it is equally remarkable that the e-Naira is the first in Africa’s financial market, “she said.

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