The highly anticipated e-Naira finally launches today bringing us into a new dispensation. The e-Naira ought to have launched on the 1st of October commemorating Nigeria’s 61st independence anniversary but was postponed. The launch of the e-Naira was delayed due to other significant activities that were lined up to commemorate Nigeria’s 61st Independence Anniversary, Osita Nwanisobi – the Director of Corporate Communications of the Central Bank explained.
According to the central bank, “e-Naira is a Central Bank of Nigeria-issued digital currency that provides a unique form of money denominated in Naira. e-Naira serves as both a medium of exchange and a store of value, offering better payment prospects in retail transactions when compared to cash payments. e-Naira has an exclusive operational structure that is both remarkable and nothing like other forms of central bank money”.
“When the idea was mooted, it was not a bandwagon response to create a CBDC like the rest of the world. We set out with a plan to become a trusted ally to the numerous customers we will serve and our roots continue to be firmly grounded in them. We know what they need because we listen to them every step of the way. No matter where we are in the journey, our goal remains the same – you”, the bank also said.
It is pertinent to know that the e-Naira is completely different from cryptocurrencies. Unlike cryptocurrencies, the e-Naira is a digital form of the fiat Naira and is equal to the naira. The e-Naira will be a ‘complementary’ legal tender in Nigeria, unlike cryptocurrencies which are standalone currencies. While cryptocurrencies are prone to volatility and accrue profits or losses, the e-Naira is a stable digital currency and will not bring any interest, or loss, to Nigerians. The e-Naira is completely unique and cannot be faked.
The e-Naira has received criticism since it became a topic for discussion. While the e-Naira has a lot of prospects, experts are of the opinion that for the e-Naira to be able to thrive and fulfil the reasons for its creations, the government must create enabling environments and systems while not deviating from the plans designed for the e-Naira.
After the postponement of the e-Naira’s launch, nothing was said about it. There were only speculations about when the launch would finally happen until Saturday when the Central bank’s Director of Corporate Communications – Osita Nwanisobi said that “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”.
Promising to ensure that the e-Naira gets easily adopted and works seamlessly, the CBN said it will be working with relevant partners. “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 apex bank said.