By Abubakar Yunusa
President Muhmmadu Buhari, on Monday said the adoption of the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) and its underlying technology, called block chain, can increase Nigeria’s GDP by $29billion over the next 10 years .
The President also said with the launch of eNaira, Nigeria has become the first country in Africa, and one of the first in the world to introduce a Digital Currency to her citizens.
Buhari stated this at the official launched of eNaira in Abuja,adding that the introduction of the eNaira would enable the government to send direct payments to citizens eligible for specific welfare programmes as well as foster cross border trade.
According to him,alongside digital innovations, CBDCs can foster economic growth through better economic activities, increase remittances, improve financial inclusion and make monetary policy more effective.
”Let me note that aside from the global trend to create Digital Currencies, we believe that there are Nigeria-specific benefits that cut across different sectors of, and concerns of the economy.
”The use of CBDCs can help move many more people and businesses from the informal into the formal sector, thereby increasing the tax base of the country,” he said.
He commended the Governor of the Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele, his deputies and the entire team of staff who worked tirelessly to make the launch of Africa’s first digital currency a reality.
He assured Nigerians of the safety and scalability of the CBDC system, said the journey to create a digital currency for Nigeria began sometime in 2017.
”Work intensified over the past several months with several brainstorming exercises, deployment of technical partners and advisers, collaboration with the Ministries of Communication and Digital Economy and its sister agencies like the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), integration of banking software across the country and painstaking tests to ensure the robustness, safety and scalability of the CBDC System, ” he said.