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eNaira records 200,000 users, N4bn transactions value – Emefiele

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For third consecutive time, CBN hikes Monetary Policy Rate to 15.5%

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), digital currency, eNaira has recorded 200,000 volumes and four billion Naira value of transactions since its inauguration in 2021.

Mr Godwin Emefiele, the CBN Governor said this on Thursday in Abuja at the grand finale of the “eNaira Hackathon”.

Also read: eNaira: CBN, Fintech Foundry to support 10 startups

The newsmen report that the hackathon is a CBN’s collaborative initiative with the African Fintech Foundry (AFF).

it is aimed at bringing together teams of talented entrepreneurs, developers, designers, solution developers, problem-solvers and ‘code magicians’ from Africa to develop innovative solutions for improved adoption of the eNaira.

The competition was part of efforts by the CBN to drive financial inclusion, facilitate macroeconomic growth and integrate the Nigerian economy into the world-leading economies through innovation and cutting-edge emerging technologies.

Newsmen also recall that the eNaira was inaugurated on Oct. 25, 2021, by President Muhammadu Buhari, making Nigeria the first African country to launch a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

Emefiele said since its inauguration, eNaira had reached 840,000 downloads, with about 270,000 active wallets comprising more than 252,000 consumer wallets and 17,000 merchant wallets.

According to him, the digital currency will enhance financial inclusion, support poverty reduction, enable direct welfare disbursement to citizens, support a resilient payments ecosystem and improve availability and usability of central bank money.

“The eNaira will also facilitate diaspora remittances, reduce the cost of processing cash, and also reduce cost and improve efficiency of cross-border payment,” he said.

The apex bank governor, however, said that the eNaira was the same Naira with far more possibilities.

“The eNaira will make a significant positive difference to Nigeria and Nigerians. It was also developed to provide Nigerians with a cheap, safe and trusted means of payment.

“It is unlike the offline payments channels like agent networks, USSD, wearables, cards and near field communication technology.

“The eNaira would give access to financial services to underserved and unbanked segments of the population,” he said.

He said that innovative products and services built on the eNaira would enhance Nigerians’ participation in the digital economy and promote further development of a burgeoning Fintech ecosystem.

“To achieve these set out objectives, the project adopted a phased- approach with the first phase focusing on banked users, while the policy objective of the second phase borders around financial inclusion.

“In addition, the eNaira platform possesses an innovation layer for products and services to be built with the aim of enhancing Nigerians’ participation in the digital economy,” he said.

According to Emefiele, the second phase of the project has begun and is intended to drive financial inclusion by onboarding unbanked and underserved users leveraging offline channels.

He said that the CBN was now ready to accommodate unbanked Nigerians in the eNaira platform

“Greater success is envisioned for the project with phase two expected to deliver more gains with a target of about eight million active users based on estimations using the diffusion of innovation model.

“When we launched the eNaira, we promised to increase the level of financial inclusion in the Country because just like the Naira, the eNaira is expected to be accessible to all Nigerians.

“It will provide more possibilities to bring in the unbanked into the digital economy.

” I am pleased to inform you that by next week, Nigerians, both banked and unbanked, will be able to open an eNaira wallet and conduct transactions by simply dialling *997 from their phones,” he said.

According to Mr Kingsley Obiora, CBN’s Deputy Governor, Economic Policy, the use of physical cash is gradually getting out of fashion across the globe due to the growth of digital currencies.

“In south Korea, 77 per cent no longer use cash to do payment, while in the Philippines it is 30 per cent.

“In Nigeria, we are also seeing the same decline in the use of cash, the minting of currencies in the CBN has been reducing in the last couple of years.

“So alongside this reduction in the use of cash has also been an explosion in e-business and we have seen the value of e-business grow from 393 billion dollars in 2014 to about 2.4 trillion dollars now.

“If you look at this movement, you will realise that the central banks in the world are responding to the yearnings of citizens.

“That is why 96 per cent of central banks in the world are either working on digital currencies or they have done so already,” he said.

Daniel Awe, the Group head, of AFF, said that the CBN had transformed from a traditional regulator to a smart regulator.

Awe said that the Hackathon was a platform that brings entrepreneurs, coders and product managers together to solve problems and build new business models.

“All over the world, there has been disagreement between innovators and regulators.

“This is because regulators usually look at the impact on financial stability, the impact of those innovators on consumers as well as the risk, while the innovators look at the opportunity in their ideas.

“However, this CBN is different as it has over the years partnered with innovators that will create jobs and bring value,” he said.

 

Economy

Sanitary Pads: Reps Query Minister Over N65m Spent On New Year Party, Others

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 The Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Uju Kennedy-Ohaneye has drawn the ire of the House of Representatives following the unguarded manner she allegedly spent monies which included expenditures of N45 million for a New Year party and, N20 million for sanitary pads.

The House of Representatives which has now queried the minister, also frowned on her other unrelated expenditure which includes N1.5 million for vehicle fuel.

Rep. Kafilat Ogbara, Chairman, House Committee on Women Affairs, led the interrogation of the Minister, over the non-payment of N1.5 billion to contractors despite the fund release in Abuja.

She said that the investigative hearing was aimed at uncovering the truth and not witch-hunting the Minister and the officials of the ministry.

The committee also investigated the alleged diversion of funds meant for contractor payments, following a petition from contractors.

The committee also sought clarification on funds appropriated for the African First Lady’s mission and the whereabouts of the N1.5 billion meant for contractor payments.

The minister however denied the allegations of misappropriation, overspending, and non-payment to contractors.

The procurement officer confirmed contractors’ claims, and the Director of Finance and Administration acknowledged only paying approved contracts.

It would be recalled that the committee had at its last sitting summoned the minister to appear before it to explain the rationale behind the non-payment.

The committee also ordered the stoppage of all 2024 contract processes by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs until the whereabouts of the money for the said contracts are determined

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Economy

LASU: Town, Meets Gown Next Tuesday, To Make Rails Transportation More Meaningful

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LASU: Town, Meets Gown Next Tuesday, To Make Rails Transportation More Meaning

…NRC Boss, Engr. Okhiria is Pointman

The Town and the Gown will on Tuesday converge at the Lagos State University (LASU), in a mutual fusion of quality and sustainable ideas, as the Managing Director, Nigeria Railways Corporation speaks on where the eggheads necessarily need to intervene, for the overall benefit of the nation.

NRC Boosts Passenger- Safety With  Strong Armed Forces Collaboration 
Engr. Fidet-Okhiria

Prof. Bamidele Badejo who is now back in LASU, confirmed this to the Maritime First, highlighting that Engr. Freeborn Okhiria would meticulously dissect a critical issue, titled: ‘From Exclusive Clause To Concurrent List: Potency for sustainable rail infrastructure development in Nigeria and the Lagos State example.

Oluwaseun Osiyemi, the Lagos State Commissioner of Transport, will be in attendance; at an event which will flag off by noon prompt, Tuesday 16th, July 2024, at the Femi Gbajabiamila Conference Centre.

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Economy

Reps Probe Cbn’s N1.12trn Anchor Borrowers Scheme, NIRSAL’s N215b Loan

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Reps Probe Cbn’s N1.12trn Anchor Borrowers Scheme, NIRSAL’s N215b Loan

The House of Representatives has ordered probes into the N1.12 trillion anchor borrowers scheme, an initiative of the Federal Government’s interventions and agricultural funding through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Also included in the probe are the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), the Bank of Industry (BoI) and other agencies.

The resolution followed the adoption of a motion by Rep. Chike Okafor (APC-Imo) on the floor of the House in Abuja on Tuesday.

Presenting his motion, Okafor linked the growing food scarcity and malnutrition in Nigeria to the alleged mismanagement of agricultural funds intended for agricultural development in the country.

He said the Federal Government had expended N8 trillion in 8 years on various schemes and interventions in the last eight years with the view of making food available for millions of Nigerians.

He added that the alleged mismanagement, misapplication of funds and abuse of the programmes had left Nigeria with the twin challenges of food scarcity and malnutrition.

Okafor said that funds advanced to end users of the various Federal Government interventions had also been allegedly misused, misapplied and channelled to non-farming and non-agricultural purposes.

This, he said, was responsible for the current acute scarcity of food in the country.

Adopting the motion, the House mandated the Committee on Nutrition and Food Security as well as the Committee on Agricultural Production and Services; Agricultural Colleges and Institutions and Finance, to probe

The Committees were mandated to thoroughly investigate CBN’s alleged mismanagement of the Anchor Borrowers Program (ABP) for which ₦1.12 trillion was to be disbursed to 4.67 million farmers.

The farmers were said to be involved in either maize, rice or wheat farming through 563 anchors.

The committees are to look into NIRSAL’s disbursement of ₦215,066,980,274.52, to facilitate agriculture and agribusinesses.

The House gave the committees four weeks to report back to the House.

The house also mandated the committees to equally assess how the Bank of Industry (BOI) disbursed N3 billion to 22,120 smallholder farmers through the Agriculture Value Chain Financing (AVCF) Programme.

The committee is also to investigate the handling of the N5 billion loan facility to the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) for livestock farmers across the country.

This will include the management of the National Agricultural Development N1.6 billion Recovery Fund for the Ginger Blight Epidemics Central Taskforce (GBECT).

This is for the control of Blight disease in Ginger, among other interventions. 

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