While Nigerians were supposed to be able to use, from this Friday, the digital version of the national currency named eNaira, the country’s Central Bank (CBN), announced the postponement of its launch.
Nigeria has postponed indefinitely the launch, initially scheduled for Friday 1 October, of eNaira, the digital version of its currency, announced the Central Bank (CBN), which invokes celebrations for the anniversary of the country’s independence.
Across the world, central banks are seeking to create digital versions of their currency, CBDCs, in the face of the growth in payments made on the Internet and to compete with cryptocurrencies that escape state control or global regulators.
Nigerians were supposed to be able, from October 1, to download the eNaira app and fund their mobile wallets using their existing bank accounts.
“The CBN took the decision to postpone the launch, which had been initially planned to coincide with the Independence anniversary, in deference to the mood of national rededication to the collective dream of One Nigeria, said Osita Nwanisobi, the spokesperson for the CBN in a statement.
“The CBN and its partners have worked day and night to ensure a smooth process,” he added, without giving a new official launch date for eNaira.
With this launch, Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy in terms of GDP and the most populous country on the continent (more than 200 million inhabitants), was to be a pioneer on the continent, alongside Ghana which has been testing since September its e-Cedi, as a new means of exchange.
Cryptocurrencies are widely used in Nigeria, ranked in 2020 the third user of virtual currencies in the world after the United States and Russia, by a study by the specialized research firm Statista.