eNaira can increase Nigeria's GDP by $29bn in 10 years —Buhari

Punch

By Stephen Angbulu

Buhari (retd.), has said the Central Bank Digital Currency, eNaira, and its underlying blockchain technology can increase Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product by $29 billion over the next 10 years.

This is as he said the currency will help move many more people and businesses from the informal into the formal sector, thereby increasing the country’s tax base.

Buhari said this on Monday in Abuja during the official launch of the eNaira.

In his address, the President said the currency will help increase remittances, foster cross border trade, improve financial inclusion, make Monetary Policy more effective, and enable the government to send direct payments to citizens eligible for specific welfare programmes.

“In recent times, Your Excellencies, the use of physical cash in conducting business and making payments has been on the decline. This trend has been exacerbated by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resurgence of a new Digital Economy.

“Alongside these developments, businesses, households, and other economic agents have sought for new means of making payments in the new circumstances.

“The absence of a swift and effective solution to these requirements, as well as fears that Central Banks’ actions sometimes lead to hyperinflation, created the space for non-government entities to establish new forms of ‘private currencies’ that seemed to have gained popularity and acceptance across the world, including here in Nigeria,” he said.

According to the president, these realities prompted the Central Bank of Nigeria to explore issuing Nigeria’s own Central Bank Digital Currency, named the eNaira.

“While the journey to create a digital currency for Nigeria began sometime in 2017, work intensified over the past several months with several brainstorming exercises, deployment of technical partners and advisers, collaboration with the Ministries of Communication and Digital Economy and its sister agencies like the Nigerian Communications Commission, integration of banking software across the country and painstaking tests to ensure the robustness, safety and scalability of the CBDC System.

“Aside from the global trend to create…

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