CBN to Introduce Digital Currency This Year
By Sahabi Abdul
The Central Bank of Nigeria plans to introduce a digital currency before the end of this year to bring more people into the financial system as well as aid international payments and remittances.
“Before the end of the year, the Central Bank will be making a special announcement and possibly launching a pilot scheme to provide this kind of currency,” Rakiya Mohammed, the regulator-bank’s director of information technology, told a meeting of the Bankers’ Committee in Lagos. ” It is going to help us accentuate the financial inclusion strategy. It is going to simplify payments, as well as reduce the cost of international payments.”
Central bank-issued digital currencies, like fiat or paper money, are controlled by the issuing regulatory authorities on the backing of a given country’s reserves, unlike crypto-currencies that aren’t tied to any government. Mohammed said more than 80 percent of central banks across the world are currently weighing the introduction of digital currencies, implying that Nigeria didn’t want to be left behind.
“So this is going to compliment the coins and cash that we have,” she said. “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.”