Friday, March 24, 2023

Start paying NYSC allowance, N-Power, CCT stipends through e-Naira, financial experts advise Nigerian govt 

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Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. With nearly a decade-long, active journalism practice, Mr Ramalan has been able to rise from a cub reporter to the exalted position of an editor; first as Arts Editor with the Blueprint Newspapers before resigning in 2019; second and presently as an Associate Editor of the Daily Nigerian online newspaper. He can be reached via [email protected], or, or @McRamalan on Twitter.
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Economic and financial experts have advised the Federal Government to consider payment of allowances of the NYSC members, N-Power and Conditional Cash Transfer,  CCT, beneficiaries’ stipends through the new digital currency platform, eNaira.

The Central Bank Nigeria, CBN  had banned crypro currency transactions within the Nigerian banking system in February, 2021, replacing it with an indigenous digital currency platform called eNaira.

A few months after floating the E-Naira in the country,  Nigerians are yet to fully jump at the new digital currency platform.

But some experts, while speaking with News Agency of Nigeria, said that introducing the new digital payment system into the country ‘s social welfare programs would help in creating publicity and acceptability of the new digital currency across the country.

According to the experts, Nigerian government should shift social welfare programmes and NYSC payments to eNaira for a start, saying that, that way the use will spike.

A financial analyst and Senior Lecturer at the Pan Atlantic University, Dr Olalekan Aworinde, said there was a need to do more to sensitise the public on the risks of the CBDC.

He said, “I think that the CBN should be aware of the fact that there is the risk of cyber-attacks with the introduction of the eNaira.

“As a result, the CBN needs to properly educate the masses on how to use the eNaira in a way that would not put their safety and the safety of their funds at risk”.

A Financial Expert and Past President of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, CIBN, Okechukwu Unegbu, urged the CBN to consider the impact eNaira might have on the economy.

Mr Unegbu advised the CBN to involve stakeholders from CIBN, ICAN, and other professional bodies to ensure that the financial sector does not get affected negatively as a result of the introduction of the digital currency,

He said, “eNaira is another form of crypto currency which the CBN has banned, and it seems that the apex bank is trying to imitate what it banned.

“There is the need to do a thorough research and robust stakeholder engagement, with the CIBN, ICAN, and other relevant professional bodies, and also create adequate sensitisation on the eNaira.

“If you bring out a product which the people cannot understand they will not be able to use it.”

An Economist, Dr Tope Fasua, described the idea of eNaira as a welcome development.

Mr Fasua, who is the Chief Executive Officer of a consulting firm in Abuja, said that the idea of eNaira was commendable because all currencies would eventually become digital over time, adding that the Naira should not be left behind.

He noted that by creating the digital Naira, the apex bank was ensuring that it was not rendered irrelevant in the foreseeable future.

“In actual fact, the Naira is already digital as it is because, you can send money through Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) or through electronic transfer without the need to touch cash.

“But with the eNaira, digitalisation is going to higher level, where we will increase focus on electronic financial transactions, which will come with its own type of innovations and improvements.

“But only those who get on board will benefit from the advantages of the digital currency,’’ he said.

According to Fasua, electronic currencies, like the eNaira, allows central banks to print and manage less physical currencies, thereby saving huge revenue.

“It will benefit the Nigerian economy by saving huge cost of managing physical cash, and including more Nigerians in the financial sector.

“It will promote financial inclusion, as those who do not have bank accounts can easily key into the eNaira.

“It will also, eventually, help in tracking money laundering and fraud because it is all about documentation of what people are doing.

“The data that will be generated will enable authorities do their work better in preventing money laundering and fraud,’’ he said.

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