The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has unveiled the unstructured supplementary service data (USSD) code for eNaira, the country’s digital currency.
CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, inaugurated the USSD transaction code at a five-day Northern eNaira fair 2022 in Kano, on Thursday.
The apex bank had announced plans to introduce a USSD code to improve the adoption of eNaira.
The new code — *997# — was introduced to engender financial inclusion and avail Nigerians opportunities to endless possibilities through financial services,
Speaking, Emefiele, represented by CBN’s deputy governor in charge of operations,Folashodun Shonubi, described eNaira as a strategic initiative developed in accordance with the bank’s mandate to preserve monetary and financial stability.
“It captured the slogan ‘same naira, more possibilities’, and designed to positively impact lives of Nigerians and transform the economy.
“The eNaira is expected to enhance inclusion, support poverty reduction, enable direct welfare disbursement to citizens, support a resilient payments ecosystem, improve availability and usability of central bank money,” he said.
The CBN governor added that eNaira would also facilitate diaspora remittances, reduce the cost of processing cash and improve the efficiency of cross-border payments, among others.
According to him, approximately 45 per cent of Nigerians do not have bank accounts, while 35.9 per cent are excluded from formal financial services.
He, however, said that about 81 per cent of the adult population in Nigeria representing 86 million of the 106 million own mobile phones.
“In addition, there are 150 million mobile subscribers in Nigeria, according to NCC, June 2022.
“Therefore, eNaira seeks to leverage the huge opportunity mobile telecommunications presents, as a distribution channel, for the offering of digital services to the underserved and unbanked population,” he added.
In his own contribution, Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, represented by his Special Adviser on Cabinet Affairs, Sagir Muhammad, thanked the CBN for the unveiling the eNaira USSD code in the state.
He said his administration would ensure enabling environment for businesses to thrive for the overall social and economic development of the state.
The governor also said the state government would use the eNaira platform for its empowerment programmes, urging Nigerians to utilise the opportunity to boost their businesses.