Nigeria to Debut its eNaira Currency Today


Nigeria’s eNaira digital currency will roll out officially on Monday (Oct. 25), according to Reuters.

The news comes after Nigeria earlier this year banned banks from dealing in or facilitating in crypto transactions.

The country will be using Bitt Inc, based in Barbados, as a technical partner to develop the eNaira, the report says.

Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said the eNaira will operate as a wallet, allowing customers to store existing funds in their accounts.

“The eNaira therefore marks a major step forward in the evolution of money, and the CBN is committed in ensuring that the eNaira, like the physical Naira, is accessible by everyone,” the bank said in a statement, per Reuters.

PYMNTS wrote about the eNaira website’s early rollout in late September, which preceded the Oct. 1 launch of the currency.

See also: Nigeria’s Central Bank Debuts eNaira Website Ahead of Oct. 1 Currency Launch

The CBDC reportedly will have a legal tender and non-interest bearing asset status. It will come with caps on both customer and value-based transactions.

Information from the website says the currency promises “speedy, safe, and simple trading and transactional opportunities to customers and end-users.”

The site then goes on to list several core features of the CBDC, including a unified payment system so customers can move money easily, a bank account management system letting them monitor their eNaira wallet, contactless payments and peer-to-peer payments letting fund transfers happen through a linked bank account or card.

PYMNTS also reported the CBN’s eNaira site got over a million hits in the 24 hours it was live. Godwin Emefiele said at the time that Nigeria would be “the first country in Africa” to roll out a digital currency.

He added that it would help facilitate trade, hopefully, as Nigeria is the largest economy on the continent. He said it would be able to “set the tone” to tell Africa they were ready to lead and they’d lead in trade if possible.

CBDCs have been becoming more popular, particularly for their ability to cut down on costs for cross-border payments and reduce the time needed to clear those payments, as well as to increase financial inclusion.