Nigerians to have access to e-Naira wallet through USSD code next week- Emefiele

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele has revealed that from next week, Nigerians will be able to open an eNaira wallet and conduct transactions by simply using a designated USSD code on any phone.

According to him, to carry out these transactions, one will only have to dial *997# from their phones.

Emefiele stated these at the Grand Finale of the 2022 eNaira Hackathon in Abuja.

According to him: “Nigerians, both banked and unbanked, will be able to open an eNaira wallet and conduct transactions by simply dialling *997# from their phones.

“Shortly after this, both merchants and consumers with bank accounts can use the NIBSS Instant Payment (NIP) to transfer and receive eNaira to any bank account”.

“This will further deepen the integration of the eNaira with the existing national payment infrastructure”.

He added that his “promise to increase the level of Financial Inclusion in the Country because just like the Naira, the eNaira is expected to be accessible to all Nigerians . And would provide more possibilities to bring in the unbanked into the digital economy”.

According to him, the second phase of the eNaira project has begun and is intended to drive financial inclusion by onboarding unbanked and underserved users leveraging offline channels”.

This second phase he said will “deliver more gains with a target of about 8,000,000 active users based on estimations using the diffusion of innovation model”.

Emefiele disclosed that “since the launch, the eNaira has reached 840,000 downloads, with about 270,000 active wallets comprising over 252,000 consumer wallets and 17,000 merchant wallets”.

“In addition, the volume and value of transactions on the platform have reached more than 200,000 and N4.0 billion, respectively” he said.

The CBN governor stated that the eNaira hackathon recorded a sizable interest from young and innovative Nigerians with a total of 4,667 registrations, comprising 4,082 male and 582 female applicants.

In his address, Deputy Governor Economic Policy of the CBN Dr. Kingsley Obiora said Nigeria is seeing a decline in the use of cash, “the minting of currencies in the CBN has been reducing in the last couple of years”.

Alongside this reduction, he said “there has also been an explosion in electronic business and e-business and we have seen the value of e-business grow from N393 billion in 2014 to about N2.4 trillion now”.

With the movement to e-business, Obiora said “the central banks in the world are responding to yearnings of citizens which is why citizens in 96 percent of Central banks in the world are either working on digital currencies or they have done so already”.

Daniel Awe, Group Head, Africa Fintech Foundry said the CBN has transformed from a traditional regulator to a smart regulator.

The Hackathon he said “is a platform that brings entrepreneurs, coders, product managers to solve problems and build new business models”.

He stated that “all over the world, there has been disagreement between innovators and regulators because regulators usually look at the impact on financial stability as well as impact of those innovators on consumers as well as the risk while the innovators look at the opportunity in their ideas”.

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