Friday, January 21

CBN is developing eNaira to function offline

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is working on offline use for eNaira, which will help onboard those who don’t have access to the internet.

This is according to the Director, Payments System Management Department of the bank, Musa Jimoh at the 2021 Business Luncheon of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN).

The apex bank wants to increase eNaira’s use cases, boost its adoption, and make it more relevant to the payment ecosystem.

What they are is saying

Jimoh said that the CBN was considering enrolling Nigerians without cellphones and using unstructured supplementary service data (USSD) to reach financially excluded individuals and areas with limited internet access.

He said, “We are looking at developing offline use cases through USSD, which does not need strong data. Wearables will also help in areas where there is no internet network. With these, people could just tap and transact as they go.”

Adesina Adebayo, President of the CITN, is optimistic that wider use of the digital naira will assist the government in increasing tax collection by allowing appropriate agencies to monitor and trace transactions.

Adebayo said, “Look at taxation from the perspective of incomes and transactions. When you have income and transact using eNaira, it is easy to track both income and profit margin on the transaction. Tax comes in when the relevant agencies can track the transaction and ascertain the profits.

He said Nigeria’s tax-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio is low because the country is widening the tax net or the implementation framework horizon.

He added, “If these are the bases for accessing the low tax-to-GDP, it is important to ask how many Nigerians pay taxes. The second question would be how many people pay the right amount? eNaira will expand the net and boost tax revenue. This is the advantage of the eNaira.”