Godwin Emefiele, the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria who presented a keynote address at event for Finance Correspondents and Business Editors with the theme “Policy Options for Economic Diversification: Thinking Outside the Crude Oil-Box” saying This theme is not only appropriate but quite timely in our quest and resolve to change the narratives of depending on a mono-product oil-led economy, towards building a broad-based and well diversified economy that guarantees overall macroeconomic stability.
Emefiele said you will agree with me that we live in a time when the global economy is characterized by rapid digitalisation across all sectors, particularly the financial system where Nigeria remains the leader of innovation and out of the box thinking. Specifically, in entrenching a resilient payments system, the Bank has over the years established strategic initiatives and policies in the financial sector such as the Payments System Vision 2020 (2007), National Financial Inclusion Strategy (2012, 2018), Cash-less Policy (2012), Framework for Regulatory Sandbox Operations (2018, 2021), Open Banking Initiative (2021), among others, he observed.
This is the last special seminar organised by the Central Bank of Nigeria for Finance Correspondents and Business Editors for the year 2022 was at Ikeja in Lagos on the August 27
The CBNGovernor who was ably represented at the event by Osita Nwanisobi, the Director, Corporate Communications of the bank says Under the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (2020 – 2030), the industry is poised to accelerate the private sector-led efforts towards building a nation where digital innovation and entrepreneurship are used to create value and prosperity for all. Consequently, the Nigerian payment ecosystem has witnessed tremendous improvement over the years. According to him, to consolidate its efforts towards engendering a digital economy, the Bank deployed the eNaira, Africa’s first Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) in preparation for the payment landscape of the future, given the potential benefits that will accrue to a digital economy.
“The eNaira provides Nigerians with a cheap, generally accepted, safe and trusted means of payment and seeks to enhance financial inclusion, support poverty reduction, enable direct welfare disbursement to citizens, support a resilient payments ecosystem, improve availability and usability of central bank money, facilitate diaspora remittances, reduce the cost of processing cash, and reduce cost and improve efficiency of cross-border payment among others. Through the evolution of offline payments channels like agent networks, USSD, wearables, cards and near field communication technology, the eNaira would give access to financial services to underserved and unbanked segments of the population.
“The eNaira platform also provides an innovative layer for products and services to be built with the aim of enhancing Nigerians’ participation in the digital economy and promote further development of a burgeoning Fintech ecosystem.
“Whilst celebrating the successes achieved following the launch of the eNaira and the global recognition of the great job on-going by the CBN, it must be acknowledged that the journey ahead requires cutting-edge innovation and out of the box thinking to achieve the set-out objectives of economic diversification. Consequently, out of the box solutions would be the ones that drive financial inclusion, SME growth and the creation of start-ups; facilitate cross border trades and transfers as well as international remittances and FX exchanges; ensure effective implementation of welfare-inclined government programmes; and enhance efficiency in the interbank market.
CBN Governor noted that as we work to deepen this policy agenda that has received tremendous support from Mr. President, I urge you to play your role in supporting efforts aimed at diversifying the economy. Again, we believe that as you deliberate on this all-important issue, you will help to identify ways of fine-tuning these policies to optimize the benefits of the numerous growth propelling initiatives being pursued by the CBN, he concluded.