History was made by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Monday 25 October 2021, with the eNaira recorded amongst the first Central Bank Digital Currencies in the world.
The Nigerian Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), known as the eNaira, which was launched in Abuja, was a culmination of several years of research work by the CBN in advancing the boundaries of payments system in order to make financial transactions easier and seamless for every strata of the society.
TheFact Magazine gathered from CBN that following series of engagements with relevant stakeholders including the banking community, fintech operators, merchants and indeed, a cross section of Nigerians, the CBN designed the digital currency.
The eNaira marks a major step forward in the evolution of money and the CBN is committed to ensuring that the eNaira, like the physical Naira, is accessible by everyone.
CBN also said, it has successfully minted 500 million eNaira to kickstart the Digital Currency Initiative of the Federal Government.
CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele during the launch noted that, out of the N500 million eNaira minted, N200 million was issued to financial institutions.
He said, over 2,000 customers have been onboarded, including 33 banks, while over 120 merchants have successfully registered on the eNaira platform.
“Since the eNaira platform went live, there has been overwhelming interest and encouraging response from Nigerians and other parties across the world with over 2.5 million daily visits to the website with the following milestones:
“33 banks are fully integrated and live on the platform. N500 million has been successfully minted by the Bank. N200 million has been issued to financial institutions. Over 2,000 customers have been onboarded. Over 120 merchants have successfully registered on the eNaira platform”, he said.
According to him, the newly launched eNaira would drive a more cashless, inclusive, and digital economy and complement the gains of previous policy measures and the country’s fast growing payments platforms.
The apex bank governor explained that, the eNaira was Nigeria’s Central Bank Digital Currency and it was the digital equivalent of the physical Naira.
“As the tagline simply encapsulates, the eNaira is the same Naira with far more possibilities. The eNaira – like the physical Naira – is a legal tender in Nigeria and a liability of the CBN. The eNaira and Naira will have the same value and will always be exchanged at 1 naira to 1 eNaira”, he said.
Emefiele further said, to de-risk the process, the CBN has given careful consideration to the entire payments and financial architecture and has designed the eNaira to complement and strengthen these ecosystems and have implemented secure safeguards and policies to maintain the integrity of the financial system.
Specifically, there will be strict adherence to the anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) standards in order to preserve the integrity and stability of Nigeria’s payment system.
He said, the CBN believes the eNaira will make a significant positive difference to Nigeria and Nigerians, including: Supporting a resilient payment system ecosystem. Encouraging rapid financial inclusion. Reducing the cost of processing cash. Enabling direct and transparent welfare intervention to citizens. Increasing revenue and tax collection. Facilitating diaspora remittances. Reducing the cost of financial transactions, and improving the efficiency of payments.
“Today, customers who download the eNaira Speed Wallet App will be able to perform the following:
● Onboard and create their wallet
● Fund their eNaira wallet from their bank account
● Transfer eNaira from their wallet to another wallet
● Make payment for purchases at registered merchant locations”, he added.