Nigerian central bank launches eNaira CBDC
Nigeria’s central bank digital currency (CBDC), the eNaira, has gone live following an unveiling by President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday.
Nigerians can now sign up for an e-wallet and use the eNaira as both a medium of exchange and a store of value. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says the digital currency offers “better payment prospects in retail transactions when compared to cash payments”.
The CBN announced it had partnered with Barbadian fintech Bitt last month to develop the digital currency.
The central bank hopes the CBDC will increase cross-border trade, boost financial inclusion, speed up remittance inflows and improve tax collection in the West African country.
At the launch of the eNaira at the State House in Abuja, President Buhari said that the use of physical cash has been on the decline in recent times.
“This trend has been exacerbated by the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and the resurgence of a new digital economy,” Buhari added.
The CBN says the launch of the eNaira is a culmination of several years of research conducted by the central bank to advance “the boundaries of payments systems in order to make financial transactions easier and seamless for every strata of the society”.
The central bank says it will continue to work with relevant partners to “ensure a seamless process that will benefit every user”, particularly those in rural areas and the unbanked population.