The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has expressed readiness to launch its digital currency before the end of 2021.
The CBN Director-Information Technology Department, Rakiyat Mohammed, disclosed this during a press briefing on the Bankers’ Committee meeting on Thursday, June 10.
Mohammed said: “As I said before the end of the year, the Central Bank will be making special announcement and possibly launching a pilot scheme in order to be able to be able to provide this kind of currency to its populace.”
She explained that about 80 per cent of central banks in the world were exploring the possibility of issuing central bank digital currency and Nigeria could not be left behind.
According to her, the CBN had been been exploring technology and had made tremendous progress for over two years now.
She said: “We have in two forms in Nigeria as of now, there are the notes and there are the coins. So the Central Bank currency is to be the third form of money which means just as we have electronic money, digital money is not new in Nigeria.
“Just as we are about the third or fifth in the whole world as far as advancement in the use of digital money is concerned.
“So this is going to compliment the coins and cash that we have. The Central Bank digital currency will just be as good as you having cash in your pocket and even as you have the cash in your pocket, you are going to have the cash on your phone.
“We all know how money has to travel for someone to send money from Nigeria to abroad and it is a huge money in Africa.
“We also know that recent report by EfiNA was that our target was to achieve 80 per cent financial inclusion. We are about 60 per cent and at the rate at which we are going, we are not going to meet this target. Central Bank digital currency will accelerate our ability to meet this target.”