CBN commences eNaira phase 2 as transactions hit N4b
eNaira has witnessed about 200,000 transactions worth N4 billion since the initiative was launched, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele has said.
Emefiele, who disclosed this yesterday in Abuja, at the grand finale of the eNaira Hackathon, added that the payment platform has also seen 840,000 downloads and about 270,000 active wallets comprising over 252,000 consumer wallets and 17,000 merchant wallets.
He stated: “In addition, the volume and value of transactions on the platform have been remarkable, reaching above 200,000 and N4.0 billion, respectively.”
He hinted that despite the achievements, the second phase of the project has begun and it is intended to drive financial inclusion by onboarding unbanked and underserved users leveraging offline channels.
He added: “Hence, greater success is envisioned for the project with phase two expected to deliver more gains with a target of about 8,000,000 active users based on estimations using the diffusion of innovation model.”
Emefiele noted that though there has been a global recognition of the feat achieved so far, the journey is iterative and requires cutting-edge innovation to sustain the vision and achieve the set policy objectives.
“It is important to note that ‘enabling private sector innovation’ is one of the three foundational principles of Central bank Digital Currency (CBDC). Thus, this hackathon event today is neither a coincidence nor an accident but rather another forward leap by the CBN in the implementation of eNaira, to ensure all Nigerians receive the full benefits of a Central bank Digital Currency (CBDC).
“The Hackathon is an initiative that creates a collaborative environment for experts with a diverse set of skills to drive sustained innovation geared towards making the eNaira the pinnacle for digital financial services and the gateway to the Digital Economy,” he said.
He added that the Hackathon is intended to seek solutions that would drive financial inclusion, SME growth and the creation of start-ups and also facilitate cross-border trades and transfers as well as international remittances and FX exchanges.
According to him, it will also lead to effective implementation of welfare-inclined government programmes and enhance efficiency in the interbank market.
He further stated that the event was targeted at providing an engagement with critical stakeholders in the financial technology space to deepen the link between eNaira and Fintechs.
He pointed out that the eNaira hackathon recorded a sizeable interest from young and innovative Nigerians with a total of 4,667 registrations, comprising 4,082 male and 582 female applicants, saying, “This further corroborates the fact that Nigerians, both within and outside the country, possess innovative ideas and are willing and ready to leverage on exciting opportunities that the eNaira presents for enhancing digital financial services and contributing to national development.”
The governor of the bankers’ bank expressed confidence that the eNaira Hackathon will unravel a pool of talents that would fuel the transformation of Nigeria into a world-class digital economy and beyond.
In his intervention, Deputy Governor, Economic Policy, CBN, Kingsley Obiora, said in recent times, the CBN has been reducing cash transactions in the last couple of years which has led to an explosion in electronic business and e-business and that the value of e-business has grown from N393 billion in 2014 to about N2.4 trillion.
The Group Head, Africa Fintech Foundry, Daniel Awe lauded the CBN saying the apex bank has transformed from a traditional regulator to a smart regulator.
“The Hackathon is a platform that brings entrepreneurs, coders, and product managers to solve problems and build new business models. All over the world, there has been disagreement between innovators and regulators because regulators usually look at the impact on financial stability as well as the impact of those innovators on consumers as well as the risk while the innovators look at the opportunity in their ideas” he stated.