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Emefiele: Digital economy crucial to Nigeria’s economic growth

Emefiele: Digital economy crucial to Nigeria’s economic growth
March 20
15:30 2021

Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), says the nation must build a solid digital economy for individuals, businesses and the country as a whole to experience growth.

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Emefiele said this on Saturday, during the 30th seminar for finance correspondents and business editors held virtually.

He noted that the information, communication and technology (ICT) sector was critical in mitigating the COVID-19 pandemic economic impacts on Nigeria’s gross domestic (GDP) growth in 2020 as it grew by 14.7 percent in 2020 relative to growth of 10.16 percent in 2019.

Emefiele said Nigeria needs to focus on digital infrastructure (especially internet connectivity); digital literacy and skills; digital financial services; digital platforms; and digital entrepreneurship and innovation for building a solid digital economy.

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“As the pace of technological adoption increases, we must find ways to leverage digital channels in improving access to finance and access to credit for all Nigerians,” he said.

“Consequently, the digital economy will be a key factor towards our efforts at driving growth over the next few years.

“As the biggest economy in Africa with one of the largest youth populations in the world, Nigeria is well-positioned to develop a strong digital economy.

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“Consequently, there is need to focus on accelerating improvements across five fundamental pillars of a digital economy: digital infrastructure, digital platforms, digital financial services, digital entrepreneurship and digital skills.”

Emefiele reiterated that CBN’s restrictions on cryptocurrency transactions was necessary to protect the financial system and the generality of Nigerians from the risks of the digital currency as it has had consequences on financial stability and implementation of monetary policy.

He further encouraged Nigerians to embrace the use of blockchain technology despite the crypto ban.

“However, our policy stand does not preclude Nigerians from harnessing the benefits of the underlying technology that support crypto transactions, which is a distributed ledger, commonly referred to as blockchain.

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“There are several examples where blockchain technology has been used to facilitate and improve transparency in the settlement of trade transactions.

“Our regulatory sandbox is available for fintech companies to explore the use of blockchain technology in areas that would be beneficial to the Nigerian economy.”

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