The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has asked Nigerians to embrace eNaira and internet banking as alternatives to cash transactions.
Speaking at the recently concluded 44th Kaduna International Trade Fair, Osita Nwanisobi, director of corporate communications, CBN, said the Nigerian payment system infrastructure could handle the surge in transaction volumes across all payment channels.
The CBN director spoke against the backdrop of the struggle faced by citizens to get naira notes from banking halls and automated teller machines (ATMs) following the implementation of the naira redesign policy.
Nwasinobi was represented at the event by Mohammed Abbah, director, capacity development department of CBN.
On the naira redesign policy, he said the initiative was not aimed at any individual as being insinuated in the public domain.
“The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has always said that the policy is not targeted at anyone or any group of persons, rather, it is derived from the bank’s in-house analysis to strengthen our macroeconomic fundamentals and better our socio-economic conditions,” Nwanisobi said.
“The principal aim of the bank, with the currency redesign initiative, is to make our monetary policy decisions more efficacious.
“Nigerians will observe that there has been a downward trend in inflation, and the exchange rates have been relatively stable.
“Furthermore, we aim to increase financial inclusion in the country by reducing the number of the unbanked population.
“Thirdly, our aim is to support the efforts of our security agencies in combating banditry and ransom-taking in Nigeria through this programme.”
The CBN director said the apex bank was aware of the challenges some citizens have had to face in the past few weeks in efforts to get money from their banks.
He said that there have been reports of occasional transaction failures on alternative payment channels.
“However, we wish to assure you that the Nigerian payment system infrastructure is robust enough to handle the surging transaction volumes across all channels,” Nwanisobi said.
“We, therefore, urge Nigerians to embrace alternative payment channels, such as e-Naira and internet banking, as we embrace the cashless policy.”
Nwanisobi said the apex bank, in line with its developmental function as stipulated in the CBN Act, 2007 (as amended), has been at the vanguard of promoting quality export through its produce, add value and export (PAVE) concept.
He said PAVE was similar to the export-led industrialisation policy of south-east Asia, which elevated the economic fortunes of the Asian Tigers: Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan.
Through PAVE, he said the CBN sought to create a proper linkage between agriculture and the manufacturing sectors of the Nigerian economy while also providing a cushion against the volatility in crude oil production and export.