CBN may launch digital currency end of 2021 – official



The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Thursday in said that digital currency might be launched by the end of  2021.

Mrs Rakiya Mohammed, an Information Technology Specialist with CBN, made the disclosure at an online news briefing at the end of Bankers Committee meeting.

According to her, the apex bank has for over two been exploring the technology and has made tremendous progress.

“Before the end of the year, the Central Bank be making special announcement and possibly launching a pilot scheme in order to be able to provide this kind of currency to the populace,” she said.

Mohammed said when eventually  operational,  the currency would complement cash notes.

According to Muhammed, another reason the apex bank plans to come up with digital currency  is to make remittances easier from abroad to Nigeria.

She said that digital currency would accelerate the ability to meet the target, regardless of one’s country of residence.

The  specialist also said that CBN would be exploring various technological options and engaging various industry players as well as moving to the next stage of proof of concept to pilot the scheme.

Mohammed said that CBN considered the architecture, accessibility issue and privacy of the currency before going into .

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that other discussed at the bankers’ committee meeting include  launch of digital cards as well as foreign exchange availability in banks.

Bank executives at the  briefing include Mr Herbart Wigwe, Group Managing Director/ Executive Officer (CEO) of Access Bank Plc, and Mr Patrick Akinwuntan, Managing Director/CEO, Ecobank Nigeria.

Others are: Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, Managing Director/CEO, ; Mr Abubakar Suleiman, Managing Director/CEO, Sterling Bank Plc;  Mr Haruna Mustafa, Director, Banking Supervision, CBN, and Mr Osita Nwanisobi, Director, Corporate Communication Department, CBN. (NAN)