The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has unveiled the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) for its eNaira to improve financial inclusion in the country.
CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele said this during the inauguration of the USSD transaction code at a 5-day Northern eNaira exchange, Kano 2022.
The theme of the fair is: “Implementation of eNaira Wallet Towards Job Opportunity and Economic Growth.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the apex bank has introduced the eNaira transaction code *997# to bring about financial inclusion and exploit Nigerian opportunities for endless possibilities through financial services.
Emefiele, represented by the Vice-Governor of Operations, Mr. Folashodun Adenisi-Shonubi, described eNaira as a strategic initiative, in line with the bank’s mandate to maintain monetary and financial stability.
“It contained the slogan ‘Same Naira, More Possibilities’ and was designed to positively impact the lives of Nigerians and transform the economy.
“The eNaira is expected to improve inclusion, support poverty alleviation, enable direct benefits to citizens, support a resilient payment ecosystem, improve the availability and usability of central bank money,” he said.
He said it would also facilitate diaspora remittances, reduce the cost of processing cash and improve the efficiency of cross-border payments, among other things.
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According to him, about 45 percent of Nigerians do not have a bank account, while 35.9 percent are barred from formal financial services.
However, he said that about 81 percent of the adult population in Nigeria, or 86 million out of 106 million, own a mobile phone.
“In addition, according to NCC, June 2022, there are 150 million mobile subscribers in Nigeria.
“That’s why eNaira is trying to leverage the huge opportunities that mobile telecommunications offers as a distribution channel for providing digital services to the underserved and unbanked population,” he said.
Gov Abdullahi Ganduje, represented by Alhaji Sagir Muhammad, Special Adviser on Cabinet Affairs, thanked the CBN for revealing the eNaira USSD code in Kano.
He said his administration would create a favorable environment for businesses to thrive for the state’s overall social and economic development.
The governor said the state government would use the eNaira platform for its empowerment programs, and urged Nigerians to take the opportunity to boost their businesses.
“With this, you don’t need to go to the bank, POS operators or have an ATM card, you just need to use the transaction code “997#,” he said.