From Uche Usim, Abuja and Chinwendu Obienyi

In line with on going plans to roll-out its digital currency by year end, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Monday announced the formal engagement of the global Fintech company, Bitt Inc., as its technical partner for Nigeria’s eNaira.

Governor of the Central Bank, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, who who  disclosed in Abuja, also listed the benefits of the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) to include increased cross-border trade, accelerated financial inclusion, cheaper and faster remittance inflows, easier targeted social interventions, as well as improvements in monetary policy effectiveness, payment systems efficiency, and tax collection. 

Emefiele added that Project Giant, as the Nigerian CBDC pilot is known, has been a long and thorough process for the apex bank, following its decision to digitise the Naira in 2017, after extensive research and explorations. 

“Given the significant explosion in the use of digital payments and the rise in the digital economy, the CBN’s decision follows an unmistakable global trend in which over 85 percent of Central Banks are now considering adopting digital currencies in their countries.

“The CBN’s selection of Bitt Inc, among highly competitive bidders, was hinged on the Company’s technological competence, efficiency, platform security, interoperability, and implementation experience”, he explained. 

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According to him, in choosing Bitt Inc, the CBN will rely on the Company’s tested and proven digital currency experience, which is already in circulation in several Eastern Caribbean Countries. 

Bitt Inc. was key to the development and successful launch of the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) pilot of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) in April 2021.

The presentation described how the new currency would be designed and operated while mentioning that it will have non-interest-bearing CBDC status, a transfer limit of N50,000 for customers, and a value-based transaction limit.

“In order to catalyse the adoption of the e-naira, banks will facilitate onboarding and provide world-class customer service.

Nigerian banks will be allowed to invite all their customers to register for the e-Naira.

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