From Amechi Ogbonna, Gombe
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday, said the Federal Government was targeting to reduce its financial exclusion rate by about 20 per cent over the next few years, with Monday’s launch of the eNaira by President Muhammadu Buhari.
CBN Director of Payment Services Management Department, Mr Musa Jimoh, who spoke on the topic” evolution of digital currency, benefits and associated threats” at the ongoing 2021 NDIC seminar for Business Editors and Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) with the Theme “Enduring Extreme Disruption: Resilience and Reinvention for Banking System Stability and Deposit Insurance” in Gombe State, said the government’s target was to reduce the financial exclusion rate of Nigeria’s adult population by 20 per cent from the current 39.5 per cent to about 19.5 per cent over the next five years.
This was even as available statistics from EFina reveal that the NorthEast and North West of the country have the highest financial exclusion rate due to the high level of insecurity in the zone.
He however noted that both the apex bank and the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation have at different times taken deliberate steps to improve on the status quo to ensure higher rates of inclusion in areas affected by insurgencies.
He also expressed optimism that the introduction of the eNaira would further fast-track the inclusion ofmore Nigerians into the formal banking system due to its inherent benefits that include cost effectiveness, safety and speed of transactions given the exculsion of middlemen and other intermediaries that often add to the cost financial services have been removed.
The CBN Director also highlighted the capacity of the eNaira wallet to make tax administration more efficient and inclusive as more tax payers are likely to be included in the nation’s tax net.
He stated further that the new wallet would further simplify Federal Government’s conditional cash transfer scheme and poverty mitigation interventions being implemented across the country.
According to him, nationwide implementation of the scheme would also reduce fraudulent transactions in government project with minimal involvement of cash as it will open opportunities for financial institutions to onboard services that are linked to eNaira. This, he said, would come once the customers begin to appreciate the benefits derivable from the scheme.
On why the nation was borrowing the digital currency of other countries, he said there was nothing wrong in copying good technology meant to improve service delivery to bank customers.