The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has imposed a deadline on itself, announcing that it would push for central bank digital currency (CBDC) before 2021 ends.
This was announced by Rakiya Mohammed, director of IT for CBN.
According to her, the bank has been closely looking at digital currency trends for the past two years, which is why CBN is confident that it can finally launch a new financial product this year.
She also added: “Launching a pilot scheme [is also possible] in order to be able to provide this kind of currency to the populace.”
A big jump for Nigeria
But CBN made it clear that the new digital currency product will not replace the local naira cash. The new product is meant to act as an additional currency option for Nigerian citizens.
The central bank is also expecting that digital currencies will also provide a big convenience to Nigerians when it comes to remittances. These intangible currencies don’t have any forex charges and third-party entities which makes money transfers more flexible and convenient.
CBN plans to launch the digital currency in select areas before launching it nationwide.
According to Mohammed, the Central Bank of Nigeria estimates that 80% of central banks all over the world are embracing digital currencies, and Nigeria shouldn’t be left behind.
Other African countries have also started launching policies that support digital currencies.
CBN’s latest announcement caught everyone by surprise since Nigeria was previously known as “anti crypto” with its series of crackdowns against cryptocurrency operations.
It even prohibited commercial banks and financial institutions from doing business with any cryptocurrency-related transactions.
And their planned digital currency adoption was a drastic turnaround from their previous “hostility” towards these new currencies.
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