The highly anticipated and previously postponed Nigeria’s central bank digital currency has been confirmed for launch tomorrow, the 25th of October, 2021. This was announced in a statement on Saturday, October 23rd, 2021 by the apex bank’s Director of Corporate Communications – Osita Nwanisobi.
The statement by the CBN executive reads “Following series of engagements with relevant stakeholders including the banking community, fintech operators, merchants and a cross-section of Nigerians, the CBN designed the digital currency, which shall be activated on Monday, October 25, 2021.
The e-Naira was originally scheduled to launch on the 1st of October, to commemorate Nigeria’s 61st independence anniversary, but was postponed due to other significant activities that were lined up to commemorate the 61st Independence Anniversary, Osita Nwanisobi said. The e-Naira was expected to launch on the 4th, a few days after the intended launch. The postponement was a result of the CBN not wanting the launch to collide with the program lined up for Independence Day. The e-Naira wasn’t launched that day and nothing was said about the e-Naira until yesterday when its Monday launch was confirmed.
With the e-Naira, the CBN and the government plan to take on a number of challenges like narrowing the financial inclusion gap, making domestic and international payments easy and seamless, being able to carry on its welfare programs more easily, creating a safe and easy path for foreign remittances, etc.“The eNaira, therefore, 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”, the CBN’s Director of Corporate Communications, Osita Nwanisobi added yesterday.
There have been worries regarding the accessibility of the e-Naira and the CBN has assured Nigerians that the e-Naira is both inclusive and accessible. Last week, the CBN confirmed that the e-Naira can be used and accessed by Nigerians who do not have internet-enabled phones and that they do not have to worry about missing out. The e-Naira launch tomorrow will mark the beginning of a journey towards the evolution of money and a step into creating a cashless society. Changes and even enhancements are expected to come in the future as time goes by because they would be needed to make the e-Naira time-relevant and be continually able to serve new and imminent functions of digital money.
“Since the eNaira is a new product, and among the first CBDCs in the world, we have put a structure to promptly address any issue that might arise from the pilot implementation of the eNaira”, the CBN said promising to partner with relevant bodies to ensure a seamless adoption of the e-Naira, especially in rural environments.
It is important to know that the e-Naira is different from other digital currencies for quite an infinite number of reasons. Click here to find out more about the differences between Nigeria’s e-Naira and other digital currencies. Nigerian commercial banks have begun, since its announcement, to sensitize their customers about the e-Naira ahead of its launch, and some have even begun to integrate an e-Naira wallet onto their various banking platforms.
The e-Naira finally launches tomorrow, it is relevant to say Welcome To A New Dispensation!