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Why Nigerian founders attracted $900 million investment: Emefiele

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Central Bank governor Godwin Emefiele says about US$900 million that has been invested in firms run by Nigerian founders was indicative of the confidence reposed in the payment system supervised by the financial regulator.

Mr Emefiele made the disclosure at the 56th Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) Annual Bankers Dinner, on Friday night at the Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos.

The inflows were realised between 2015 and September 2021, the CBN chief asserted.

He said the banking sector’s robust payment system has continued to evolve towards meeting the needs of households and businesses in Nigeria.

“Notwithstanding these gains, close to 36 per cent of adult Nigerians do not have access to financial services,” he noted, stressing that “Improving access to finance for individuals and businesses through digital channels can help to improve financial inclusion, lower the cost of transactions, and increase the flow of credit to households and businesses.’’

Mr Emefiele said Nigeria’s e-Naira app has witnessed almost 600,000 downloads since it was launched about four week ago.

“In less than four weeks since its launch, almost 600,000 downloads of the e-Naira application have taken place,” Mr Emefiele told the bankers.

“Efforts are ongoing to encourage faster adoption of the e-Naira by Nigerians who do not have smartphones.”

“The support of the financial industry will be critical in the ongoing deployment of the e-Naira and efforts are ongoing to encourage continued partnership between the CBN and stakeholders in the financial industry,’’ he added.

The CBN governor noted that building a robust payment system that would provide cheap, efficient, and faster means of conducting payments for most Nigerians have always been the focus of the apex bank.

According to him, “the growing pace of digitisation globally, makes it essential that we leverage digital channels in fulfilling this objective”.

Mr Emefiele said that total transaction volumes using digital channels more than doubled between 2018 and 2020, as volumes rose from 1.3 billion to over 3.3 billion financial transactions in 2020.

He said that Digital payment channels also helped to support continued conduct of business activities during the lockdown.

(NAN)

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