Mrs Rakiyat Mohammed, Director of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Information Technology Department, has stated that the banking authority will create a digital currency by the end of 2021.
Muhammed made the announcement during a news conference following the Bankers’ Committee meeting on Thursday.
“As I stated before the end of the year, the Central Bank will make a special announcement and possibly launch a pilot scheme to be able to provide this type of currency to its citizens,” she said.
She stated that approximately 80% of central banks around the world were looking into the prospect of releasing central bank digital currency, and Nigeria could not be left out.
She went on to say that the CBN had been researching technology for over two years and had made significant progress.
She explained that there are presently two types of money in the country when asked what the Central Bank digital currency will be.
“At the moment, we have two types of currency in Nigeria: notes and coins,” she continued.
“As a result, the Central Bank currency will be the third form of money, implying that, like electronic money, digital money is not new in Nigeria.
“As far as advancement in the use of digital money is concerned, we are about third or fifth in the world.
“So this will work in conjunction with the coins and cash we already have.
“The Central Bank digital currency will be just like having cash in your pocket, and you will have cash on your phone just like you have cash in your pocket.”
She stated that the Central Bank was looking into several use cases, including remittances.
“We all know how money has to travel for someone to send money from Nigeria to abroad, and it is a huge amount of money in Africa,” the director stated.
“We also know that according to a recent EfiNA report, our goal was to achieve 80% financial inclusion. We’re approximately 60% of the way there, and if we keep moving at this pace, we won’t make it.
“The Central Bank’s digital currency will help us meet this goal faster.”