From Uche Usim, Abuja
With the global economy rapidly mutating from cash to a cashless ecosystem, digital currency pundits have outlined ways of deepening eNaira usage and acceptability.
Speaking at a pre-conference virtual meeting with the theme: “Building a Cashless System: Understanding the Digital Currency, Lesson from eNaira”, the Founder, Blockchain Centre and Chief Executive Officer of Bitcoin Sam Lee said that Nigeria and indeed Africa need to urgently create cashless economy that is driven by technology.
He said there is need for a strong private sector competition that will accelerate the digitization of money; which is a process that will bring welcomed prosperity and accelerated transactions in the ecosystem.
He added that Stable coin regulation in Nigeria, released by the Nigerian Central Bank and the Nigerian central government would work if the aforementioned were in place.
He further explained that the eNaira, a Central Bank Digital Currency, must be strategically flaunted as a strong vehicle to drive financial inclusion, which will bring the unbanked into the financial sector.
He said the move will be buoyed by providing technologies that work in tandem with operational models and regulatory frameworks for the digital currency.
He noted that the progress of the eNaira can be enhanced by stable coin regulation to create healthy competition to the existing government-backed eNaira system.
Lee said to increase digital currency penetration into the market would mean that there has to be a stablecoin framework so that the market can create competing systems to the eNaira. In her submission, Rakiya Mohammed who oversees the information technology department of the CBN disclosed that there were 36 million people in the financial sector in Nigeria. She said the engagement of that population will help to deepen the goal of the eNaira.
Mohammed highlighted the many security steps already taken to ensure that the process is not manipulated but secured end-to-end.
She said “if we are able to get most of the informal sector into the financial sector, we would be able to measure our GDP based on their contribution.”
Chairman/President of Future Trends Group, Farzam Kamalabadi, said there is a possibility of loops of currencies converging with each loop being added to the value in future, adding “this is what we plan to build in Africa.”
He said the future trends of cashless payment is when new emerging economies have the chance to bypass what classic economies are doing.
Kamalabadi said the benchmark was to create a stronger economy in Nigeria that is worth $1 trillion as soon as possible.
“Nigeria is close to that; it only needs a triple economy. 20 other African nation’s need to have within seven years, a $1 trillion economy plus a $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund; same size as Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. Each of the African countries already have the wealth but it is not actualized,” he stated.
Global advisor of Global Chamber and the CEO of ONS Triumphs Ltd, Ogbonna Ukuku, said here should be a more creative way of getting funding to support fintech in Africa. There must be a profit in that transaction. He said investors have a particular attitude who invest only in where they can make their money back.
On his part, CEO of Actionable Strategy Jeffrey Wu said Africa can leapfrog western payment systems by skipping bank and credit card accounts and moving directly to digital-only accounts using mobile/Web first platforms.
“A durable and scalable approach requires operational discipline, pragmatic regulations, prudent risk management, and realistic expectations.