The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has urged Nigerians to embrace alternative payment channels such as eNaira, USSD and other internet banking facilities in line with its cashless policy.
The apex bank said the idea became necessary as the country was gradually marching towards the alternative payments policy regime, which was the trend all over the world.
The Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department, Dr. Abdulmumin Isa, made the call during CBN’s Special Day at the ongoing 34th Enugu International Trade Fair on Friday in Enugu.
He added that the country could not afford to be left behind in the global financial ecosystem but rather embrace digital payment channels.
Abdulmumin, represented by the Assistant Director, Communication Department, CBN, Mr Imoh Esu, said CBN had continued to seek creative ways to ensure that Nigeria took full advantage of opportunities and benefits of digital payment channels.
This, he said, led to the launch of the eNaira in October 2021 aimed at broadening the payment possibilities of Nigerians, foster digital financial inclusion, with the potential for fast-tracking inter-governmental and social transfers.
“Similarly, the CBN in collaboration with the Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), recently launched the National Domestic Card Scheme – the first in Africa.
“This is expected to not only lower operating costs for banks but reduce the huge foreign exchange costs associated with operating foreign card schemes,” he said.
On the recent redesign of some denominations of the naira, Abdulmumin reiterated that the policy, which was approved by President Muhammadu Buhari, was in the overall interest of the country and the economy, in addition to aligning with the international best practice.
According to him, overall, the policy has started strengthening macroeconomic fundamentals, moderating inflation and upscaling the financial inclusion rate.
“It has also led to relative stability in the exchange rate and supported the efforts of the security agencies in combating banditry and ransom-taking in the country,” he added.
Earlier, Earlier in his welcome address, the President, Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA), Mr Jasper Nduagwuike, lauded the various intervention schemes of CBN in supporting and encouraging the growth of businesses in various sectors of the economy.
Nduagwuike, represented by Emma Nwankpa, Vice President, Publication and Publicity, also urged CBN to fine-tune policy measures to save indigenous businesses and the industrial sectors.
He stated that the chamber was worried that the recent increase in interest rate by the apex bank to 18 percent would have an adverse effect on accessing credit from banks.