Rakiya Mohammed, an IT specialist at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), announced that the top bank is working to introduce the country’s digital currency digital currency.
According to a message according to the People’s Gazette, Mohammed announced this after Thursday’s meeting of the Bankers’ Committee in Abuja, where he told reporters:
“Before the end of the year, the central bank will issue a special notice and, if necessary, launch a pilot program to provide this type of currency to the population.”
In May, CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele said digital currencies in Nigeria would “come to life” despite the current ban.
The Central Bank of Nigeria has banned commercial banks and other financial institutions from cryptoburz service in February with reference to exposed claims on cryptocurrencies, which are primarily used for illegal transactions.
According to Mohammed, the digital currency of the CBN will complement the naira cash notes. The IT specialist also said that the planned digital currency will be used to reduce foreign exchange restrictions in the country.
As Cointelegraph previously stated, CBN had a policy of restricting foreign exchange markets as part of Naira’s “defense” policy caused increased cryptocurrency in Nigeria before the February ban.
Transfers of foreign remittances represent the largest forex income from non-oil oil, and millions of its emigrants living abroad support family members at home. Data from the World Bank show $ 26.4 billion in such payments flowing into the country in 2019.
Mohammed revealed that the CBN has been exploring the possibility of the central bank’s digital currency for about two years. The CEO of CBN said that the top bank is ready to move forward with the development of a proof-of-concept to conduct pilot tests for the scheme.
Nigeria’s CBDC plans follow a similar announcement from neighboring Ghana. In early June, Cointelegraph announced that it was moving to the Central Bank of Ghana to become the first in Africa to introduce a CBDC.