The Director of Information Technology at the Central Bank of Nigeria, Rakiyat Mohammed, has said that about 36 million Nigerians currently have zero access to financial services.
Mohammed, who spearheaded the development and deployment of the eNaira, stated this on Tuesday during the Zenith Bank Tech Fair which was held in Lagos.
Delivering her presentation at the fair which is themed “Future forward,” she said CBN is the first Central Bank in Africa and second in the world to launch a Central Bank Digital Currency.
According to her, the development of the CBDC was borne out of the urgent need to provide “financial inclusion to the 36m Nigerians who currently lack access to financial services.”
She said, “Nigeria has the 6th most advanced retail payment system. This was according to a report by ACI. So, if you look at that report you will see why.
Remember, when the president launched eNaira, he did say in the next ten years, we expected eNaira and its associated technologies to increase our GDP by $20bn. We are working on that.”
She further stated that in the light of emerging trends, it became pertinent to develop a currency that is a legal tender that will be able to play in the digital economy space.
In his keynote address, Australian best-selling author and futurist, Brett King, said that in the coming decades, Artificial Intelligence and increased deployment of technology in different spheres of endeavour would upset the labour force in a seismic dimension.
King said, “When we talk about what is going to be happening in the next 20 or 30 years, it is not really like fortune telling. It is a forecast. We look at trends, we look at behaviours, and we look at the zone of possibilities.
There is a lot of uncertainty that the pandemic created. In addition to this, we have the emergence of climate change. Which is a real concern. We also have the impact of artificial intelligence. Robots are going to be impacting, particularly employment.”