Barely 18 days after its launch, 488,000 consumer wallets have been on-boarded to Nigeria’s Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) platform known as the eNaira from over 160 countries through Google Playstore and Apple Store as of Friday.
Data obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) at the weekend, also showed that about 78,000 merchant wallets have also been on-boarded to the digital currency infrastructure.
Also, transactions on the eNaira stood at about 17,000 valued at over N62 million.
This is an indication of growing enthusiasm for the central bank’s digital currency, which has been described as a game-changer.
The digital platform had recorded about 200,000 wallets downloads in less than one day that the portal came alive.
“So far, we have on-boarded over 488,000 consumer wallets and about 78,000 merchant wallets, with these downloads occurring in over 160 countries (per Google Playstore and Apple Store data).
“We have also recorded almost 17,000 transactions amounting to over N62million with the average transaction being about $9.3 each. These numbers suggest the adoption rate has been excellent.
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“It is a direct liability of the bank, a legal tender and will form part of the currency-in-circulation and will be at par with the physical naira,” CBN said.
The eNaira was officially unveiled on October 25, 2021, by President Muhammadu Buhari who said the electronic money would boost the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by $29 billion in the next 10 years.
Nigeria is the first country in Africa and one of the first in the world to introduce digital currency.
Buhari had said: “Indeed, some estimates indicate that the adoption of CBDC and its underlying technology, called blockchain, can increase Nigeria’s GDP by $29 billion over the next 10 years.
“CBDCs can also help increase remittances, foster cross border trade, improve financial inclusion, make monetary policy more effective, and enable the government to send direct payments to citizens eligible for specific welfare programmes.”
The president further assured Nigerians of the safety and scalability of the CBDC, adding that the journey to create a digital currency for Nigeria began in 2017.
On his part, CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, had said with growing interest in CBDC around the world, the CBN had commenced extensive study, consultations, identification of use cases, and the testing of the CBDC concept in a Sandbox environment as far back as 2017.
He said the objective of the research was to establish a compelling case for the adoption of a digital currency in the country to enable a more prosperous and inclusive economy for all Nigerians.
He added that following the completion of the preliminary work, the researchers and experts at the CBN were able to establish that a digital currency will drive a more cashless, inclusive, and digital economy as well as complement the gains of previous policy measures and our fast-growing payments platforms.
He said CBN decided to implement its own CBDC and to name the digital currency, the eNaira, and believes the innovation will make a significant positive difference to Nigeria and Nigerians.
Specifically, Emefiele said the eNaira will support a resilient payment system ecosystem, encouraging rapid financial inclusion, reducing the cost of processing cash, enabling direct and transparent welfare intervention to citizens, and increasing revenue and tax collection.
He had also said eNaira would also facilitate diaspora remittances, reduce the cost of financial transactions, and improve the efficiency of payments.
He added: “Therefore, the eNaira is Nigeria’s CBDC and it is the digital equivalent of the physical Naira. As the tagline simply encapsulates, the eNaira is the same Naira with far more possibilities. The eNaira – like the physical Naira – is a legal tender in Nigeria and a liability of the CBN. The eNaira and Naira will have the same value and will always be exchanged at 1 naira to 1 eNaira.”
Emefiele said in a bid to further de-risk the process, the CBN had given careful consideration to the entire payments and financial architecture and has designed the eNaira to complement and strengthen these ecosystems, adding that the bank had also implemented security safeguards and policies to maintain the integrity of the financial system.
The CBN boss added that there would be strict adherence to the anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) standards to preserve the integrity and stability of Nigeria’s payment system.
According to him, 33 banks had been fully integrated and are live on the platform while N500 million had been successfully minted by the central bank including N200 million which had been issued to financial institutions.
Emefiele said the country had made history with the eNaira launch, pointing out that this would be the first in Africa and one of the earliest around the world.
State governors responsible for rising poverty, not FG, says minister
The Federal Government has blamed state governors for the rising rate of poverty in the country.
Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clement Agba, gave this position at a press briefing in Abuja on Wednesday after this week’s Federal Executive Council meeting.
He said the governors prioritised the construction of heavy infrastructure such as bridges and airports in cities rather than improving the lives of the rural poor.
According to him, about 72 per cent of Nigeria’s poor live in neglected rural communities.
Agba said the governors had abandoned the critical demography, preferring to spend state resources on the capital cities instead.
He said, “The governors are basically functioning in their state capitals. And democracy that we preach about is delivering the greatest goods to the greatest number of people. And from our demography, it shows that the greatest number of our people live in rural areas, but the governors are not working in the rural areas.
“Right now, 70 per cent of our people live in rural areas. They produce 90 per cent of what we eat. And unfortunately 60 per cent of what they produce is lost due to post harvest loss and it does not get to the market.
“I think from the Federal Government’s side, we are doing our best. But we need to say that rather than governors continuing to compete to take loans to build airports that are not necessary, where they have other airports so close to them, or governors now competing to build flyovers all over the place, we appeal that they should concentrate on building rural roads so that the farmers can at least get their products to the market.”
Citing the findings of a recent survey he conducted across the 109 senatorial districts nationwide, the minister said Sokoto State ranked the highest on the poverty scale, followed by the oil-rich state of Bayelsa.
“The result clearly show that 72 per cent of poverty is in the rural areas. It also showed clearly that Sokoto State is leading in poverty with 91 per cent.
“But the surprising thing is Bayelsa being the second in terms of poverty rating in the country. So, you see the issue is not about availability of money. But it has to do with the application of money,” he said.
Agba lamented that despite the Federal Government’s intervention to alleviate poverty, the results did not reflect the amount of investment made in the area.
He said, “In the course of working on the national development plan, we looked at previous plans and asked why they didn’t do as much as expected. We also looked at the issues of the National Social Investment Programme.
“At the federal level, the government is putting out so much money but not seeing so much reflection in terms of money that has been put into alleviating poverty, which is one of the reasons the government also put in place the national poverty reduction with growth strategy.
“But if the Federal Government puts the entire income that it earns into all of this without some form of complementarity from the state governments in playing their part, it will seem as if we are throwing money in the pond.”
JAC woos customers, slashes car prices in Yuletide promo
JAC Motors Nigeria has commenced a price slash special end-of-year promo for its numerous existing customers as well as potential customers across the country.
The company says it wants its customers to celebrate holidays and the festive season in a grand style through its latest sales promotion tagged, ‘JAC Motors End of Year Promo’.
It says in a statement that it will offer a discount of N1 million on any of the JAC models purchased during the promo period, which will run till the January 10, 2023.
This, according to the auto firm, is to enable the buyers to use the N1 million for other essential items needed for the family during the festive period.
Already, the auto firm says players in both the public and private sectors are already taking advantage of the promo to acquire quality vehicles this season and enjoy the mouth-watering discount.
It says, “Festive periods are synonymous with the act of giving. JAC Motors will, as part of the End of Year Promo, give its customers not just the N1 million discount on every car purchased but also ample value-added services that come with after-sale support to strengthen the durability and performances of all vehicles purchased. Now is your chance to drive your dream JAC car in this season of giving.”
Explaining why JAC Motors is offering the unique end-of-year promo, the Head of Brand and Marketing Communication of the company, Mr Franklyn Okotie, stated that the year had its fair share of challenges on everyone.
“There is no better way and time than now to thank all our customers who go the extra mile to make the JAC brand stronger and continually promote us. For this reason and more, we will always support and positively impact our customers as we steadfastly meet the vehicular and transportation needs in Nigeria.”
He advised that their existing and potential customers to log onto this website – https://jacnigeria.com/end-of-year-promo/ to get their dream car today, even as he promised that a JAC car would be a remarkable gift to a friend this season.
The firm said the JAC vehicles are of best quality, durable, beautifully designed with modern-day aesthetics, optimum performance and highly fuel efficient.
“JAC vehicles are tropicalized, made tough to withstand all the challenging terrains on Nigerian roads. Elizade Autoland offers JAC passenger cars, commercial vehicles and light duty trucks,” it added.
Kia offers football fans fun, prizes, drive in latest EV in Qatar
As the ongoing 2022 FIFA World Cup moves into the round of 16, high flying Korean automaker, Kia Motors, says it is providing more exciting moments for spectators in the Qatar stadiums where matches are being played.
The auto company is activating what it calls two must-see activations along with a host of exciting prizes for football fans visiting the match centres.
The activations will be hosted at Al Bayt Stadium, Al Thumama Stadium, and Khalifa International Stadium, where Kia’s latest generation EV6 GT, Sportage, K5, Telluride, K8, Sorento will all be on display, Kia says in a statement.
According to the firm, the first activation offers a thrilling simulator experience “where spectators can drive a Kia vehicle of their choice from the automaker’s latest line up.”
The second activation invites football fans to win big by participating in a football challenge, where successful participants can walk away with a Kia branded cap, towel or wristband.
It says, “Visitors can check out Kia’s spot at the FIFA Fan Festival™ zone, which is the perfect place to experience the World Cup, as it is the central destination where fans from all over the world can come together to share their love of football and celebrate the electrifying atmosphere of the global event.
“At the FIFA Fan Festival™, Kia’s Ground of Inspiration will offer audiences a chance to check out the Kia EV9 Concept, which embodies an adventurous and recreational form with its rugged and upright stance.
“Fitted with a solar panel built into the car bonnet and an interior made from sustainable materials, this electric car reimagines what an all-electric vehicle can be.”
It also says alongside the activations, the automaker will support 64 Official Match Ball Carriers (OMBC) across the tournament.
The statement says, “Children from about 20 different nations globally will enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime experience of carrying the official match ball to the pitch at the start of all matches.
“As a partner of the FIFA World Cup™, the automotive brand will support the operation of the world’s greatest sporting event by providing an official event vehicle fleet that will include Kia passenger cars to facilitate the safe and convenient mobility of players, referees, VIPs and staff, as well as Kia-branded buses specifically dedicated to transport national teams and referees.”
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