After a year since its introduction, the eNaira website receives over 2.5 million daily visitors.
During the first anniversary of the launch of the eNaira on Tuesday in Lagos, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, said this.
The Nigerian government has created eNaira, a digital currency with the same value as the fiat naira. The general public is required to purchase it through FI and deposit the money into customer-maintained e-wallets.
It will serve as a secure and reliable alternative to currency but is not meant to replace it.
eNaira is actual money that users earn and hold in their e-wallets, as opposed to digital banking, which includes customers transacting with money they maintain in a bank. Customers will therefore be able to use it just like fiat cash without the need for middlemen, as is the case with digital banking.
Emefiele said the eNaira is anticipated to, among other things, improve financial inclusion, support poverty reduction, enable direct welfare disbursement to citizens, support a resilient payments ecosystem, increase the availability and usability of central bank money, facilitate remittances from the diaspora, lower the cost of processing cash, and lower the cost and improve the efficiency of cross-border payments.
A.A. Rano fuel stations, Shoprite, Sahad Stores, Fraser Suites, and November Cubes, among others, have all successfully registered on the eNaira platform after one year since its introduction, the speaker said.
Other eNaira achievements include the full integration of 33 banks into their platforms, the successful minting of N3.00 billion by the Central Bank, and the issuance of N2.10 billion to financial institutions.
The CBN Governor stated that the eNaira’s journey began exactly five years prior in 2017. It is a journey of possibilities rather than a singular occurrence.
He said Nigerians should expect to see additional functionalities in the coming months, including, onboarding of revenue collection agencies to increase and simplify collections, collaborating with the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs through the creation of sector-specific tokens to support the Federal Government’s social programmes and distribution of targeted welfare schemes in a bid to lift millions out of poverty by 2025.
In his words, “we celebrate the successes achieved so far by the CBN and all Nigerians, it must be acknowledged that the journey is iterative and today is just another step and not the destination. Therefore, the team continues to work fastidiously to bring enhanced features and improved user experience to the eNaira. To this end, the coverage of collaboration was enlarged in a bid to further drive adoption.”
“The CBN acknowledges the daunting task ahead. We, therefore, call on all relevant stakeholders, including the Financial Institutions, NIBSS, FinTech groups, Telcos and merchants to collaborate, innovate, deepen and enhance the value of eNaira to Nigerians and to Nigeria.
“It is the Bank’s hope that the eNaira will drive the digital economy agenda and foster a more prosperous Nigeria,” Emefiele expressed.
Recall, last year, the CBN issued a directive that prohibited banks from taking part in financial transactions involving cryptocurrencies, in which many Nigerians have placed their savings as a hedge against naira depreciation.
Although the CBN later clarified that individuals were not prohibited from buying and selling, traders were forced to carry out their business on peer-to-peer platforms, an effective black market.
The eNaira is aimed at boosting transparency by allowing the regulator to better monitor currency transactions and curb black-market trading in the paper naira.
The new currency is built on blockchain’s open ledger technology, which reduces the risk of fraud by ensuring each eNaira note is unique and can’t be duplicated or counterfeited.
The eNaira is also aimed at boosting inbound remittances by providing a cheaper, more secure and faster way for Nigerians in the diaspora to send back the money.