The Central Bank of Nigeria will unveil a digital currency before the end of this year, the CBN Director of Information Technology Department, Rakiya Mohammed, disclosed.
Disclosing this at the end of the 306th Bankers’ Committee meeting on Thursday, Mohammed clarified that the digital currency would be accessible to all Nigerians.
The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, had at the recent Monetary Policy Committee meeting, hinted that a committee was working on the modalities of issuing the country’s digital currency, which could be the electronic version of the naira.
Mohammed promised that the planned digital currency would operate alongside other virtual currencies, but warned that the “CBN does not have control over cryptocurrencies,” which had been labelled as too risky to invest in.
“The plan to launch a digital currency is for Nigeria to join the league of other nations like China. It is going to help us accentuate the financial inclusion strategy that we are behind schedule at only 60 per cent. It is going to simplify payments, as well as reduce the cost of international payments.
“It will also reduce the cost of cash management. Anyone with a phone can do transactions seamlessly. The pilot is to be launched before the end of the year. We will announce the programme in due course. The launch of digital currency does not liberalise the other digital currencies that we ban in Nigeria because they are not under CBN supervision. They remained banned,” she added.
According to her, those who play in the volatile crypto investment do so strictly on a personal basis, as nobody would stop them.
The Director, Banking Supervision, Haruna Mustafa, said the Bankers’ Committee discussed diverse issues, including the ongoing CBN collaboration with managing directors of banks to launch domestic cards.
He said the proposed Central Bank Digital Currencies would help to promote financial inclusion.
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