Nigeria’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) is less than two weeks away from launching, bringing the country close to a new monetary era. The apex bank had earlier released guidelines concerning the digital currency and now it is making it compulsory that businesses across the country accept the e-naira.
Businesses, merchants, service providers, etc., have been mandated to accept the imminent e-naira. This was revealed by the CBN Director of Payment System Management – Musa Jimoh during Channels TV’s “Business Morning” show. He emphasized that the e-naira is a legal tender, should be seen and treated as such and that it should be accepted everywhere by businesses, merchants, etc. “Today, anywhere you present naira to pay, compulsorily it must be accepted because that is our fiat currency. So, the same way naira is accepted that you can’t reject it, is the same way e-naira must be accepted. Anywhere in this country where e-naira is presented, it must be accepted. So, merchants must accept e-naira as a means of payment”, he said.
The CBN announced the e-naira a few months ago and subsequently released guidelines on how it’ll be operated. E-naira is set to launch on the 1st of October this year, to commemorate Nigeria’s 61st independence anniversary.
The e-naira has received criticisms from experts and the public. Many see the e-naira as the government’s way of filling the void created by the ban on cryptocurrencies. Others think that it is another project that waiting to be abandoned.
According to the CBN, the e-naira will not suffer volatility like cryptocurrencies. It will be stable and equal in value to its physical counterpart. In other words, the e-naira is just a virtual extension of the physical naira. The major reason Nigerians, and crypto enthusiasts store their wealth in cryptocurrencies is because they want to make remittances on their investments, preserve wealth, etc. The e-naira, therefore, does not address the reason why people are crazy about cryptocurrencies, and it has quite a number of limitations as stated in the CBN guidelines.
The CBN launches the e-naira in less than two weeks and adoption promises to be low at first. The apex bank hopes the adoption rates increase with time. To find out more about the e-naira, its feasibility, reality, and what people think of it, click here.