By Ossom Raphael
Mr Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has urged merchants in the country to come onboard to drive the adoption of the eNaira so as to deepen it’s usage.
The adoption of the eNaira platform launched by President Muhammadu Buhari in October 2021, has the capacity to increase Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by $29 billion over the next 10 years.
Speaking on Saturday in Abuja at the eNaira Merchant Mega event organised by the CBN in collaboration with Arabatech, PNAIL and the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), Emefiele, said the platform offers an inclusive payment system.
Emefiele, who was represented by Kingsley Obiora, the deputy governor, Economic Policies of the CBN, said that the event sought to bring together regulators, partners, merchants and other key stakeholders to further deepen the adoption of the eNaira and thereby enhance Nigeria’s quest for economic development that is supported by a world-class payment system infrastructure.
He said: “With the eNaira, the CBN seeks to enable businesses and households across and outside the country to make fast, efficient, and reliable payments.
“The eNaira platform is resilient, innovative and offers an inclusive payment system. Some of the expected benefits arising from the adoption of the eNaira include deepening financial inclusion; improvement in the efficiency of the payments system; enhancement of cross-border payments and remittances; Improved trade integration; a viable option for the distribution of stimulus and government interventions and improved transmisSion of monetary policy.”
The Apex Bank Governor, further said merchants such as petrol stations, supermarkets, e-Commerce and other businesses not only have significant roles to play in driving the adoption of the eNaira, but can also leverage on the opportunities offered by eNaira to improve cash management and make significant savings in operating cost.
“More specifically, benefits to the merchants include reduced cash handling costs, elimination of failed transactions, instant settlement, increased speed of transactions, improvement in records keeping and elimination of challenges associated with giving change to customers, amongst others.
“Ample opportunities for increasing business income abound through the adoption of the eNaira. For instance, the availability of eNaira payment option on e-Commerce merchant platform such as Remita is expected to complement the existing digital payment system, translating to about 50% increment in e-commerce transactions and at a lower cost.
“Also, the implementation of cross-border transactions in phase 3 of the eNaira project is expected to increase cross-border trade by about 30%.
“Furthermore, lower transaction cost is expected to increase the usage (transaction volume and value) of eNaira and improve income generation by businesses. In this vein, I am pleased to inform you that the Bank recently approved a reward scheme for merchants and other users of the eNaira. This reward scheme includes providing merchants with the required promotional (marketing) materials, subsidising the current Merchant Service Charge by 50% and activation of a nationwide sensitization which early business adopters of eNaira can leverage on to market its wider adoption,” Emefiele said.
The Governor therefore assures that the bank would continue to innovate and upgrade the eNaira platform by partnering with Fintechs and putting in place a robust Help Desk to provide support for merchants and other users towards ensuring seamless adoption of the eNaira.
On his part, Al-Mujtaba Abubakar, said the eNaira platform if embraced would help eradicate many issues surrounding cash transactions.
“The idea of the e-Naira comes from the ever-expanding developments in digitalisation and the need for a secured means of effecting transactions across borders. This digital financial inclusion if embraced would help eradicate many issues surrounding cash transactions.
“This event is targeted at merchants, traders, cooperative societies, business association, supermarket, hotels, restaurant chains, service providers, private school owners, transporters, Small and Medium Business Enterprises amongst others, to help them understand the importance of the eNaira.
“This eNaira event comes at a good time to educate the business community on its benefits and importance because despite the high expectations and hype around the CBN digital currency, the eNaira, the business community is yet to embrace it fully. Newspaper research recently revealed that major retailers and vendors in the country are yet to adopt it about 10 months after the launch.
“If fully embraced, there are several benefits attached to it for the business community. Some of the benefits include; speedy delivery, safe, and simple trading and transactional opportunities to customers and end-users”, Abubakar said.
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