The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said that Nigerians can begin to download e-naira wallets on their phones from October 1.
The Director, Payment System Management, at the CBN Mr. Musa Jimoh, said this during an interview on the ‘Business Morning’ programme on Channels Television yesterday. This came as the apex bank also decried calls for the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele’s resignation.
According to him, the e-naira which is set to be launched on October 1, 2021, is a legal tender equal to the value of the naira and thus must be accepted as a form of payment by all merchants and business outlets. Jimoh said: “Today, anywhere you present naira to pay, compulsorily it must be accepted because that is our fiat currency.
So, the same way naira is accepted that you can’t reject it, is the same way e-naira must be accepted. Anywhere in this country where e-naira is presented, it must be accepted.
So, merchants must accept e-naira as a means of payment. “The liability of the enaira money is directly on CBN which is similar to the cash you hold. The liability of the cash you hold today rests with the CBN.
So, it gives Nigerians the opportunity to bank with CBN.” The CBN Director emphasised that the e-naira comes with many benefits and would save the cost of printing more notes.
“Today the cost of producing the naira and coins is very high. It costs money to print naira in this country. Now, the minting of e-naira is electronic so it reduces cost,” Jimoh stated. He also said that charges of transferring funds would be lower for those using the e-naira.
Meanwhile, the spokesman of the CBN, Mr. Osita Nwanisobi, has faulted claims from certain quarters for the resignation of the CBN governor over issues relating to the exchange rate of the naira.
Speaking with newsmen in Abuja on Monday evening, Nwanisobi alleged that those behind such calls were only pursuing their selfish agenda fueled by those who had long benefitted from rent-seeking practices in the parallel forex market, which he refused to recognize as a significant segment of the country’s forex market.
According to him, the CBN would not be distracted in its mandate by yielding to the selfish tendencies of a few to the detriment of the majority.
He therefore urged the banking public to disregard claims aimed at impugning the reputation of the Bank, insisting that the Bank remained committed to carrying out its mandate for the good of the Nigerian people.
He also assured that the CBN remained committed to meeting the foreign exchange request of travelers with legitimate needs as they relate to travel allowances, payment of tuition and medical fees among other invisibles.
He noted that there was enough supply of foreign exchange to the banks to meet legitimate demands for foreign exchange.
Nwanisobi, who insisted that no customer requiring foreign exchange for genuine transactions would be turned back by their banks, urged the banking public to insist on their rights to be attended to as long as they possess all the requisite documents to validate their request.