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Buhari Projects Growth Of Nigeria’s GDP With Adoption Of e-Naira

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Buhari Projects Growth Of Nigeria's GDP With Adoption Of e-Naira

President Muhammadu Buhari says the adoption of Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) ‘e-Naira’ can increase Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product(GDP) by 29 billion dollars over the next 10 years.

Buhari made this submission on Monday while performing the formal Unveiling of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Digital Currency, e-Naira at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He said that, by the introduction of the e-Naira, Nigeria had become the first country in Africa, and one of the first in the world to introduce a digital currency to its citizens.

READ ALSO: e-Naira: Buhari Set To Launch CBN’s Digital Currency

The president said there were Nigeria-specific benefits of the digital currency that cut across different sectors of the economy.

“In recent times, the use of physical cash in conducting business and making payments has been on the decline; this trend has been exacerbated by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resurgence of a new Digital Economy.

“Alongside these developments, businesses, households, and other economic agents have sought for new means of making payments in the new circumstances.

“The absence of a swift and effective solution to these requirements, as well as fears that central banks’ actions sometimes lead to hyperinflation created the space for non-government entities to establish new forms of private currencies that seemed to have gained popularity and acceptance across the world, including here in Nigeria.

“In response to these developments, an overwhelming majority of central banks across the world have started to consider issuing digital currencies in order to cater for businesses and households seeking faster, safer, easier and cheaper means of payments.’’

According to the president, a handful of countries including China, Bahamas, and Cambodia have already issued their own  CBDCs.

Buhari said that a 2021 survey of central banks around the world by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) found that almost 90 percent were actively researching the potential for CBDCs.

He said that the survey also found that 60 percent were experimenting with the technology while 14 percent were deploying pilot projects.

“Needless to add, close monitoring and close supervision will be necessary for the early stages of implementation to study the effect of e-Naira on the economy as a whole.

“It is on the basis of this that the CBN sought and received my approval to explore issuing Nigeria’s own CBDC,  named the e-Naira.

“This move was underpinned by the fact that the CBN has been a leading innovator in the form of money they produce, and in the payment services, they deploy for efficient transactions.

“They have invested heavily in creating a payment system that is ranked in the top ten in the world and certainly the best in Africa.

This payment system now provides high‐value and time‐critical payment services to financial institutions, and ultimately serves as the backbone for every electronic payment in Nigeria.’’

President Buhari said the apex bank had also supported several private‐sector initiatives to improve the existing payments landscape, and in turn, had created some of the world’s leading payment service providers.

He said that the efforts to create Nigeria’s digital currency began in 2017.

“While the journey to create a digital currency for Nigeria began sometime in 2017, work intensified over the past several months with several brainstorming exercises, deployment of technical partners and advisers.

“Collaboration with the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy and its sister agencies like the Nigerian Communications Commission, integration of banking software across the country, and painstaking tests to ensure the robustness, safety, and scalability of the CBDC System.

“Let me note that aside from the global trend to create digital currencies, we believe that there are Nigeria-specific benefits that cut across different sectors of and concerns of the economy.

“The use of CBDCs can help move many more people and businesses from the informal into the formal sector, thereby increasing the tax base of the country.

“Alongside digital innovations, CBDCs can foster economic growth through better economic activities. Indeed, some estimates indicate that the adoption of CBDC and its underlying technology, called blockchain, can increase Nigeria’s GDP by 29 billion dollars over the next 10 years.’’

He said that CBDCs could also help increase remittances, foster cross-border trade, improve financial inclusion, make monetary policy more effective, and enable the government to send direct payments to citizens eligible for specific welfare programs.

“It is on this basis that I am delighted to officially launch the CBN  Digital Currency, called the e-Naira, and in so doing, we have become the first country in Africa, and one of the first in the world to introduce a Digital Currency to her citizens.’’

Buhari commended CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele,  his deputies, and the entire members of staff who worked tirelessly to make the day a reality.

In his remarks, Emefiele said that the e-Naira was Nigeria’s CBDC and the digital equivalent of the physical Naira.

According to the CBN governor, the e-Naira – like the physical Naira – is a legal tender in Nigeria and a liability of the CBN.

“The e-Naira and Naira will have the same value and will always be exchanged at 1 naira to 1 e-Naira,” he said.

The highlight of the event was the symbolic unveiling of e-Naira by President Buhari, assisted by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the CBN governor. 

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Daily Headline News (Monday, 6-12-2021)

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Omicron Virus: ‘No Traveller Would Be Restricted From Visiting Nigeria’

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Omicron Virus: 'No Traveller Would Be Restricted From Visiting Nigeria'

The Federal Government has ruled out the possibility of restricting foreign travellers from visiting Nigeria despite travel bans on the country by Canada, the United Kingdom, Indonesia, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

This is just as the government stated that most of the in-bound passengers that tested positive for COVID-19 were from the UK.

The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said this on Channels Television’s Politics Today’ programme, which was monitored by Newsrand.

Ehanire described as unfortunate the knee-jerk reaction of some countries to the Omicron strain. He noted that even the World Health Organisation had said recently that countries should focus more on collaboration rather than shutting borders.

At the moment we have no plans restricting anybody coming from another country,” he said.

WHO had two weeks ago designated the omicron variant as a variant of concern.The NCDC had last week announced that the country had reported three cases of the variant. Before this, the Canadian government had announced that it found two individuals with the variant who had travel history to Nigeria.

The UK on Saturday, December 3, 2021, also announced that it found 21 cases of the omicron variant which were linked to Nigeria. It announced that it would, from Monday (today), restrict all flights emanating from Nigeria.

It also suspended all pending visa applications in Nigeria due to the ban on flights from Nigeria due to the Omicron variant.

In a statement on Sunday, the commission said, “To support the UK Government’s aim to protect public health from COVID-19 and associated variants of concern, UK Visas and Immigration will pause making decisions on visitor visa applications in all red list countries, including Nigeria, until travel restrictions are lifted.

If you apply for a visit visa in a red list country and you meet the UK Immigration Rules, your application will be paused. You will not receive a decision on your visit visa application whilst red list travel restrictions remain in place. You will not be able to request a refund of your visa fee once you have given your biometrics at a Visa Application Centre. If you already hold a valid visit visa and are intending to travel to England as a visitor from a red list country, you will not be allowed to enter.

The UK said there are only very limited exemptions to travel and entry requirements for critical workers and medical and compassionate cases.

But the minister said the Omicron strain could not yet be declared as a deadly strain because no deaths had so far been recorded across the world.

“We are watching what the science community is saying and of course not rushing to judgment and we are also not applauding any lockdowns or any prohibitions or banning of flights or movement of people until we know more.

We believe that the harm it will do to livelihoods and economies may be more that the perceived value that will be derived from shutting movement between countries. I believe countries should come together to take a common approach and that includes the UK and other countries contemplating a red list,” Ehanire added.

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Buhari Becomes President Of Pan African Great Green Wall

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Buhari Becomes President Of Pan African Great Green Wall

President Muhammadu Buhari has taken over the Presidency of the Pan African Great Green Wall (PAGGW) in Africa, Chief Sharon Ikeazor, the Minister of State for Environment, announced on Sunday in Abuja.

A statement issued by Mr. Sagir el Mohammed, Director, Press of the Ministry said Nigeria took over at the end of the 4th Ordinary Session of the Conference of Heads of State and Government of PAGGW held on Dec. 2 in Abuja.

According to the minister, “At the end of the 4th Ordinary Session of the CHSG, Nigeria took over the Presidency of the PAGGW.

READ ALSO: Osinbajo Task Nigerians On Unity

“So for the next two years, Nigeria and President Buhari will be the president of the Great Green Wall Initiative in Africa.

“This means that within the period, Nigeria will work assiduously towards addressing the problems of land degradation, food security, desertification, climate change, depletion of the forest ecosystems, and biodiversity in Africa, among others.

“With the unparalleled commitment of Mr. President in addressing issues of climate change and desertification, coupled with the immense respect he commands within the international community, a lot would be achieved during his tenure,” she said.

Ikeazor recalled the commitment of the president at the Climate Change Summit (COP26) held in November in Glasgow, Scotland.

She said the president expressed optimism about Africa’s ambition to restore over 100 million hectares of the degraded landscape for productive agriculture.

“It is instructive to note that in his acceptance speech, the President stated: “All things being equal, we shall strengthen our efforts in the mobilization of resources for the accelerated accomplishment of the Decennial Priority Investment Plan (DPIP) 2021-2030 and its concrete implementation action.

“The realization of financial pledges that emerged as an outcome of the “One Planet Summit” held on Jan. 11th, 2021 in Paris, France would be given utmost priority.

“I want to assure that the restoration of Africa’s degraded ecosystems and ensuring the resilience of our people against climate change effects shall be strengthened.

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