An official at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) stated that Nigeria is likely to have its own central bank digital currency (CBDC) before the end of the year. In a speech after the Bankers Committee meeting, CBN Information Technology Director Rakiya Mohammed also revealed that this “digital currency can be used by all Nigerians”.

Stakeholder participation

However, according to a report citing IT directors, CBN’s digital currency will be different from privately issued cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin. A Nigerian senator previously accused Bitcoin of making Naira currency “almost useless”. Mohammed emphasized the importance of this digital currency plan, saying:

We have spent more than two years researching the concept of central bank digital currency, and we have identified the risks. This is one of the reasons why I said that we are establishing a central governance structure that will allow all industry stakeholders to be exposed to all risks as we continue this journey.

The director added that “soon” CBN will announce the release date of the CBDC.

CBN’s digital currency drive

At the same time, based on these latest comments, Muhammad became the second CBN official to indicate that he is launching a digital currency. In May 2021, CBN President Godwin Emefiele stated that digital currencies “will become alive even in Nigeria.”

By the way, the digital currency comments of Mohamed and Emefeller were all published a few months after CBN ordered the bank to stop extending its services to cryptocurrency entities. Nigerian officials blamed cryptocurrency exchanges and start-ups for exacerbating foreign exchange shortages and causing the naira to depreciate on the black market.

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At the same time, with only six months left before the end of the year, it remains to be seen whether the promise of digital currency will be realized.

What do you think of the latest digital currency comments from CBN officials? You can share your views in the comments section below.

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