eNaira – With the release of the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) code for its eNaira, the Central Bank of Nigeria has made it possible for Nigerians without internet-enabled phones to conduct transactions using eNaira.
The apex bank chose the USSD as the offline route for the eNaira because it recognized the distinctive characteristics of our economy and the fact that, as of currently, over 50% of adult Nigerians do not have bank accounts and are consequently ineligible for formal financial services.
The eNaira’s first phase was concentrated on banked customers, while the second phase is on financial inclusion, according to Emefiele, who made this revelation at the grand conclusion of the eNaira Hackathon.
In order to promote financial inclusion and give Nigerians access to unlimited opportunities through financial services, the new code *997# was introduced.
What the CBN is saying
Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor, represented by Folashodun Adenisi-Shonubi, deputy governor of operations, inaugurated the USSD transaction code on Thursday at the eNaira fair 2022, in Kano.
“It captures 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.
In addition, it would lower the cost of processing cash and boost the effectiveness of cross-border transfers, according to Emefiele.
He estimates that 35.9% of Nigerians do not have access to formal financial services, and around 45% do not have bank accounts.
However, he claimed that 86 million of Nigeria’s 106 million adults, or nearly 81% are mobile phone owners.
“In addition, there are 150 million mobile subscribers in Nigeria, according to NCC, June 2022.
“Therefore, eNaira seeks to leverage the huge opportunity mobile telecommunication presents, as a distribution channel, for the offering of digital services to the underserved and unbanked population,” he said.