The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has revealed that its digital currency might be launched by the end of 2021.
Recall that naijabusiness.com.ng had earlier reported that the Central Bank of Nigeria is considering the idea of floating a digital currency in Nigeria. The time frame was not captured in the initial report.
However, speaking to the press after the end of the Bankers Committee meeting held today in Lagos, an Information Technology Specialist with CBN, Mrs. Rakiya Mohammed, affirmed the authenticity of the news and further provided details as regards the time for the implementation of the digital currency.
According to her, the apex bank has for over two years been exploring the technology and has made tremendous progress. She also noted that when eventually operational, the currency would complement cash notes.
Speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria, Mrs. Mohammed said: “Before the end of the year, the Central Bank will be making special announcement and possibly launching a pilot scheme in order to be able to provide this kind of currency to the populace,” she said.
Outlining the pros for the floating of the digital currency, Muhammed noted that it will make remittances move easily from abroad to Nigeria. It would also accelerate the ability to meet the target, regardless of one’s country of residence.
In addition, the expert noted that the CBN would be exploring various technological options and engaging various industry players as well as moving to the next stage of proof of concept to pilot the scheme.
Mohammed said that CBN considered the architecture, accessibility issue and privacy of the currency before going into it.
Naijabusiness.com.ng gathered that other issues discussed at the bankers’ committee meeting include the launch of digital cards as well as foreign exchange availability in banks.
Bank chief executives at the briefing include Mr Herbart Wigwe, Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Access Bank Plc, and Mr Patrick Akinwuntan, Managing Director/CEO, Ecobank Nigeria.
Others are: Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, Managing Director/CEO, Fidelity Bank; Mr Abubakar Suleiman, Managing Director/CEO, Sterling Bank Plc; Mr Haruna Mustafa, Director, Banking Supervision, CBN, and Mr Osita Nwanisobi, Acting Director, Corporate Communication Department, CBN.