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Africa’s First Digital Currency Launched by Nigeria

The first Nigerian citizen, President Muhammadu Buhari, launches eNaira, the nation’s digital currency. 

The launching event happened on Monday, October 25, 2021, at the Statehouse Abuja with Yemi Osinbajo, the vice president, Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central bank of Nigeria, and other notable events dignitaries present. 

The president said during the launch that digital currency could foster economic growth and increase the Gross Domestic Product by $29 billion in the next ten years. 

He added that Nigeria is the first country in Africa and among the first in the world to recommend a digital currency to its citizens. 

The eNaira speed wallet and eNaira merchant wallet, the two digital currency applications, were launched on Apple Store and Google Play Store in Abuja, FCT, Nigeria. 

The function of the currency and its value to a nation’s economy has an exhaustive explanation through a statement on the e-Naira website. 

The central bank of Nigeria issued eNaira as a digital currency that provides a unique form of money denominated in Naira, and countries like China, Cambodia, and the Bahamas have started practicing digital currencies. 

One of the primary goals of the CBN is to increase financial inclusion and offer citizens greater access to financial services. 

Undeniably, acceptance of e-Naira can reduce the banking intermediary; hence Nigerian banking sector is faced with a new challenge. 

Lastly, eNaira offers a better payment prospect in retail transactions when compared to cash payments.

What eNaira digital platform is all about

The digital platform e-Naira is the electronic counterpart of Nigerian naira money with equal value as the country’s local paper money. CBN introduced this digital currency and is also in charge of the issuance.

What Promted CBN to Introduce the Digital Platform

The Central Bank of Nigeria introduced the e-Naira digital platform following the fact that the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic caused many banks in the cities and remote areas to close down.

After the Covid-19 lockdown, urban banking reopened with strict Covid-19 restriction, making the banking system difficult for customers while most remote area banks did not reopen.

Benefits of the e-Naira Digital Platform

  • Driving financial inclusion
  • Boosting effectiveness in the country’s payment systems
  • Easier targeted social interventions
  • Refining tax collection systems in Nigeria
  • Upgrading the efficiency of the monetary policy
  • Encourage faster and cheaper remittance inflows

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