President Muhammadu Buhari expects the the adoption of the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) to increase Nigeria’s GDP by $29 billion over the next 10 years.

The 78-year-old officially launched Nigeria’s digital currency, e-Naira, in Abuja on Monday, October 25, 2021 after its initial delay.

He said the currency can foster economic growth through better economic activities, increase remittances, improve financial inclusion, and make monetary policy more effective.

The president said he approved the e-Naira project because the use of physical cash in conducting business and making payments has been on the decline, forcing the search for alternatives.

He said the launch of the currency will cater for businesses and households seeking faster, safer, easier, and cheaper means of payments.

“Needless to add, close monitoring and close supervision will be necessary in the early stages of implementation to study the effect of eNaira on the economy as a whole,” he said.

CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, said the e-Naira was designed to complement and strengthen Nigeria’s payments and financial architecture.

He noted that the currency is a digital equivalent of the physical Naira.

“The eNaira and Naira will have the same value and will always be exchanged at 1 Naira to 1 e-Naira,” he said.

Emefiele said 33 banks have already been fully integrated on the e-Naira platform, with 500 million successfully minted by the CBN.

Over 2,000 customers have been onboarded, and over 120 merchants successfully registered on the platform.

N200 million has been issued to financial institutions, according to the CBN boss during Monday’s launch.