Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has said Nigeria needs to build a solid digital economy to further drive growth.
He said that can be done by focusing on digital infrastructure (internet connectivity most importantly), digital literacy and skills, digital financial services, digital platforms, digital entrepreneurship and innovation.
Mr Emefiele said that as the biggest economy in Africa, with one of the largest youth populations in the world, Nigeria is well-positioned to develop a strong digital economy.
“Consequently, there is need to focus on accelerating improvements across five fundamental pillars of a digital economy: digital infrastructure, digital platforms, digital financial services, digital entrepreneurship and digital skills,” the CBN governor said, yesterday, at a virtual seminar for financial journalists in Abuja. He was represented at the event by the deputy CBN governor, corporate services, Edward Adamu.
He reiterated that the CBN did not place any new restrictions on the use of cryptocurrency in Nigeria.
“Our recent directive only amplified an earlier regulation on the subject of cryptocurrency. The recent directive became necessary to protect the financial system and the generality of Nigerians from the risks inherent in crypto asset transactions, which have escalated in recent times, with consequences on financial stability and implementation of monetary policy.”
Emefiele said that as part of CBN’s effort to drive change and development, it has, over the last decade and half, worked to build an effective and efficient payment system.
According to him, the robust regulatory framework put in place by the bank opened up the payment system to innovations with several new players across in the following licensing categories – Payment Service Banks, Payment Terminal Service Providers (PTSP’s), Payment Solution Service Providers (PSSP’s), Mobile Money Operators (MMO’s), Payment Terminal Application Developers (PTSA’s), and Agent Banking.
Emefiele said a combination of these payment initiatives has immensely helped to create employment opportunities and further encouraged our efforts at building a more financially inclusive economy.
“In a bid to reduce the cost of remitting funds to Nigeria, the Central Bank of Nigeria, on March 8, 2021, introduced a refund of N5 for every $1 of fund remitted into the country through IMTOs licensed by the CBN. We believe this measure would help to support improved foreign exchange inflows and enable Nigerians in the diaspora to use more formal channels relative to informal ones.”