The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has denied rumors that it plans to withdraw naira banknotes from circulation and replace them with its digital currency, eNaira, which was launched last October by President Muhammadu Buhari. .
Recall that the stakeholders had warned the apex bank to refrain from such a decision.
CBN Corporate Communications Department Director Osita Nwanisobi noted over the weekend that the statement reportedly made during a stakeholder engagement on eNaira adoption in Asaba, State of the Delta, has been misinterpreted.
He therefore called on the public to disregard this information in its entirety.
eNaira is a central bank digital currency (CBDC) that has been deployed to improve financial inclusion in the country, reduce the cost of transactions and enhance the security of the financial system.
According to Nwanisobi, the digital version of the naira is intended to complement existing banknotes and, therefore, will simultaneously circulate as a medium of exchange and a store of value.
Regarding the benefits of adopting eNaira, he said that digital legal tender, apart from security and speed features, will also ensure greater access to financial services by the underbanked and unbanked population, thereby improving financial inclusion.
Nwanisobi therefore urged members of the public and business owners to embrace the digital currency, eNaira, saying it offers more possibilities.
Meanwhile, the eNaira fast wallet is set to get another update that will allow users to pay bills and make online purchases directly from their wallet.
Stakeholders, however, questioned the government’s decision on the planned withdrawal of Naira notes from circulation.
They noted that in civilized societies, physical money coexists with other forms of financial transactions.
Speaking in an interview with The Tide source, the President of the National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees of Nigeria (NUBIFIE), Comrade Anthony Abakpa wondered how such a policy could be implemented without sufficient preparation and awareness.
“The CBN should give enough time for Nigerians to prepare for it. CBN should know that not all Nigerians have bank accounts let alone electronic money. Most of them who cannot write would not be trained.
“What CBN needs most is the ability to educate everyone about this and save people from demoralization because it will demoralize and be cumbersome for a lot of people and they will lose faith in the government.
“CBN should deal with both physical and electronic money, not the total removal of physical banknotes from circulation,” Abakpa said.
For his part, the Secretary General of the Iron and Steel Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ISSAN), Comrade Lucky Odigie, urged the Federal Government to refrain from any political somersault.
He said, “The federal government shouldn’t start what it can’t sustain. In fact, this policy has already failed before birth.
“How can the government just wake up to a policy that would add more burdens to the masses who have already been pushed to the wall?”
Odigie also advised FG to always put the interests of the masses first in all of its planning to lessen the tough economic situations that push some into vices.