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CBN Says e-Naira Circulation Hits N400m

The circulation of the country’s digital currency, e-naira, has risen to N401.82 million as transaction volume rose from over N4 billion to N5 billion.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Director of Information and Technology, Rakiya Mohammed, disclosed this on Monday, during the 2nd Edition of the Africa Cashless Payment Conference.

According to her, the CBN prides the e-Naira on being pair-to-pair, which was why it was free of any charge for now, adding that the financial system is big enough to accommodate everyone.

She further stated that the e-Naira is easy to onboard, pointing out that inclusive payment is a rallying driver for the bank.

Mohammed, while noting the advantages of the digital currency, pointed out that today, Nigerians can make instant payments, which has gone through quite a number of transformations, including mobile money instant payments.

She said these have helped to drive digital transformation, citing that the e-naira is the same naira we have but in electronic form, is legal tender in Nigeria, and carries the same exact value as the current naira.

According to her, its objectives were financial inclusion and Nigeria was the first to launch a central bank digital currency with an operational CBDC, citing that currently, 401.82 million is in circulation, with the volume of transactions over N3.5 billion.

On opportunities for e-Naira, the CBN noted that there had been a reduction in the cost of cash, an increase in revenue, and direct disbursement to citizens as the e-naira is programmable so that it can only be used for the reason money is distributed for specific events and integrating with the Pan African Exchange system (PAPPS).

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Jumia Says It Will No Longer Accept Old Naira Notes From Jan 30

Pan African e-commerce platform, Jumia has disclosed that old naira notes will no longer be accepted as payment at the point of delivery from January 30.

The e-commerce giant said this in a notice to customers on its mobile application, adding that the decision was based on the recent currency redesign policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The notice also comes three days ahead of the January 31 deadline for the validity of the old N200, N500 and N1000 notes in circulation.

Jumia, in its notice, said that only the new notes would be collected from January 30, 2023, or payments could be made through other means.

“From Monday 30th January 2023, Jumia delivery associates will not be able to accept the old notes of N200, N500, and N1,000 sequel to the directive by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN),” the statement reads.

“Should you wish to pay by cash, our delivery associates will only accept the new series of notes. Alternatively, you can find details here on how to prepay on Jumia using JumiaPay or call us on 01 888 1106 if there are any further questions.

“We will communicate further in case of any change from the federal government or central bank.”

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NLC Calls For Extension Of Old Naira Notes Deadline

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has supported the Senate’s request to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to extend its January 31 deadline to phase out old notes in circulation in the country.

NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, revealed this on Thursday in Abuja, saying the Senate directive for the extension of the deadline was appropriate.

He said majority of Nigerians who live in remote areas where banks do not exist were yet to access the new Naira notes.

“We have tried to respond officially by writing to the CBN governor. We also wrote to the President to say that this new policy of changing our Naira needs to be revisited.

“It is obvious that even in the city centres, banks are still dispensing old notes and this is not correct. I remember, I went to about 10 banks and none was actually dispensing the new notes.

“In fact, most of the banks now, if you are lucky, they will dispense only few notes and you can check that around.

“So the new notes are not available and they are not in circulation and the old notes are being rejected.”

He said the situation the rural areas is chaotic as the rural folks find it difficult to change their money.

Wabba said the was haunting the people, and therefore called on the Federal Government to look at the issue carefully before it snowballs into a major crisis in the country.

He said the new notes were not easily available. “There are only few in circulation. It is worse in rural areas as most of the rural areas don’t have banks.

“The state I come from in the entire states. You have only three banks in three local government out of 27 local government areas in the state I come from.

Wabba is from Borno State.

He said ”All the other local governments, 24 of them, do not have banks and some of them are not accessible,” he said.

Wabba said government must think through the new Naira policy in order for the people not to suffer the consequences of the policy.

”It is the poor masses and even the working class that will feel the pinch of this policy. Because how will you not withdrawal the old currencies when the new one is not even available.

”The policy, certainly, will also impact negatively on our economy, because the notes are not available and people are now rejecting the old notes.

”The policy certainly is not a policy that is making people to believe that the policy is meant to address the fundamental issues.

”We align ourselves fully with the position of the Senate, we call for this policy to be reviewed and to give extension, so that all the old notes can then be mopped up by the bank,” he added.

 

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We Will Make Ekiti A Free Trade Zone- FG

The Federal Government, through the Nigeria Export Processing Zone Authority ( NEPZA), has reiterated its determination transforming  Ekiti State into a major free trade zone in Nigeria.

NEPZA added that it vows to realize this objective by supporting the state in delivering economic and knowledge free zone where education based industries and technological companies can operate from.

Professor Adesoji Adesugba, Managing Director of the Authority, made this known in Ado-Ekiti during a courtesy visit to Ekiti State Governor, Mr Biodun Oyebanji on Thursday.

The NEPZA boss said the establishment of the economic zone would boost the economy of the state and increase its internally generated revenue as well as reduce over-reliance on federal allocation.

Prof. Adesugba commended the Governor for been proactive and for his ideas of creating Education and Knowledge zone, describing it as novel. He assured the state of the support of the authority and prompt completion of the project.

Prof Adesugba, who assured Nigerians that the free trade zone would be ready within 18 months, said he was in the state to confirm the commitment of the Federal Government towards the successful completion of the project. He called on drivers and captains of industries to invest in the state when the zone is ready.

According to Prof. Adesoji, “I personally came to Ekiti state to show the good commitment of the Federal Government of Nigeria to support Ekiti State in delivering economic and knowledge free zone and be the home of block chain technology where technological companies and other industries that have things to do with education.

“You know Ekiti is known for education and ideas innovation, and this is where we are going to show the world that Nigeria has arrived.

“The first thing for us is to first of all get Presidential declaration to make that place a free zone. The Governor has given all of us a matching order and within the next 18 months, we would get so many industries, both virtual and on-sight there. As we speak, there are people who are already planning and working, so, we, on our own part are to get this approval.

In his remarks, Governor Biodun Oyebanji stressed the need for the Federal Government to fast-track the completion of the project to attract more investors to the state, adding that productivity would always lead to shared prosperity.

While using the opportunity to flaunt the intellectual resources of the state, the Governor stated that it is not wise for any state to drive its economy on monthly federal allocation as it cannot be used for effective wealth creation.

“On the need to fast-track declaration on Ekiti Knowledge Zone, we campaign on a mantra of shared prosperity and you know that a people cannot prosper if they are not productive and we don’t believe that FAAC can drive prosperity, so whether FAAC comes or not, if a society is productive, there will be wealth creation. And we are also aware of the fact that the only thing we have in Ekiti is our intellectual resources.

“As a government, I am ready to lead from the front, I am ready to provide every support that is needed to drive this to ensure success and meet the stipulated deadline, because without that certification, we won’t be able to do anything and investors will not come, but if you are able to attract them and bring them here and that is why we are working hard on the Airport to compliment what we are doing.

“We have invested a lot in infrastructure to drive that zone, I am pleading on behalf of my people to please do this for us. He stated.

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