BY CHARLES ABUEDE
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has in a disclaimer at the weekend, rebuffed the information making the rounds that it has planned to withdraw naira notes in circulation and replaced it with the eNaira digital currency.
Osita Nwansinobi, the apex bank’s director of corporate communications, in a telephone conversation with newsmen at the weekend strongly dismissed the speculations.
He disclaimed that the statement purported to have been made during a stakeholders’ engagement on eNaira adoption in Asaba, Delta State, was misconstrued and therefore called on the general public to disregard such in its entirety.
The news on the purported withdrawal of paper currency in circulation by the apex bank allegedly began making rounds after Aminu Bizi, a consultant to the CBN on e-Naira, spoke on Friday at the popular Ogbogonogo market during the market sensitisation on e-Naira.
He had said: “We are here at the market today to sensitise the market people on the use of e-Naira. It is fully backed by CBN, unlike Bitcoin which has no legal backing. Paper currency will soon be out of circulation because CBN spent money to print money and people abuse the currency in the market, spraying at the occasion, payment of Okada/tricycle and others and CBN is losing.”
Nwansinobi explained, during the telephone conversation, that “The digital version of the Naira is meant to complement the existing currency notes and therefore, will circulate simultaneously as a means of exchange and store of value.”
Also, the CBN spokesman hinted at the benefits of adopting the eNaira, that the digital legal tender aside from the safety and speedy features will also ensure greater access to financial services by the underbanked and unbanked populace, thereby enhancing financial inclusion.
Nwanisobi, therefore, urged members of the public and business owners to embrace the digital currency, the eNaira, as it offers more possibilities.
The eNaira was formally launched into circulation by President Muhammadu Buhari on the 1st of October last year.