President Muhammadu Buhari believes that the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) - eNaira and its underlying blockchain technology would increase Nigeria's GDP by $29 billion over the next ten years.
Speaking during the formal inauguration of the eNaira on Monday at the presidential residence in Abuja, he also stated that the introduction of the eNaira will allow the government to make direct payments to residents qualified for certain welfare programs, as well as promote cross-border trade.
The President stated that, in addition to digital advancements, CBDCs may promote economic development by increasing remittances, improving financial inclusion, and making monetary policy more effective.
According to a statement made by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity), he said: ‘’Let me note that aside from the global trend to create Digital Currencies, we believe that there are Nigeria-specific benefits that cut across different sectors of and concerns of the economy.
‘’The use of CBDCs can help move many more people and businesses from the informal into the formal sector, thereby increasing the tax base of the country.”
With the introduction of eNaira, Nigeria became the first country in Africa and one of the first in the world to provide a digital currency to its citizens, according to the President.
He praised the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, his deputies, and the whole team of personnel who worked relentlessly to make Africa's first digital currency a reality.
President Buhari, who assured Nigerians of the CBDC system's safety and scalability, stated that the path to creating a digital currency for Nigeria began in 2017.
‘’Work intensified over the past several months with several brainstorming exercises, deployment of technical partners and advisers, collaboration with the Ministries of Communication and Digital Economy and its sister agencies like the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), integration of banking software across the country and painstaking tests to ensure the robustness, safety, and scalability of the CBDC System, ‘ he stated.’