The Director, Information Technology Department, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mrs. Rakiyat Mohammed, revealed in a virtual briefing at the banker’s committee meeting yesterday, that the CBN will be launching a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) before the end of 2021.
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The director explained what Nigeria’s digital currency would look like, stating that there were currently two forms of money in the country. She stated,
“We currently have two forms of currency in Nigeria, We have the notes and the coins. The Central Bank currency is to be the third form of money which means just as we have electronic money, digital money is not going to be new in Nigeria. Just as we are about the third or fifth in the whole world as far as advancement in the use of digital money is concerned.
So this is going to compliment the coins and cash that we have. The Central Bank digital currency will just be as good as having cash in your pocket and even as you have the cash in your pocket, you are going to have the cash on your phone.”
The digital currency would be accessible to all Nigerians. Just like everybody has access to cash, everybody will have access to the central bank’s digital currency. Let me state categorically that cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and the rest of them are not under the control of the central bank; they are purely private decisions that individuals make”
The director made mention of the fact that about 80% of central banks in the world are looking into the possibility of issuing a central bank digital currency and Nigeria cannot be left behind. She furthermore noted that the CBN has been exploring technology and had made incredible progress between the space of two years.
According to the Director, shortly an announcement on the date for the launch would be published and possibly launching a pilot scheme to be able to provide this kind of currency to its people.