The Central Bank Of Nigeria has (CBN) introduced a new compulsory digital currency called the e-Naira. The Apex bank will be unveiling the legal tender on October 1st 2021. This is after it initially made plans for its creation on August 30th 2021.
Recent reports point to a compulsory adoption of the country’s new digital payment E-Naira. CBN’s director of payment system management, Musa Itopa Jimoh in an interview on September 20th 2021 provided more clarification.
Jimoh explained that the new digital currency must be accepted by all merchants and businesses as legal tender in Nigeria.
“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,” He said.
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This new development comes from the recent closure of Cryptocurrency related bank accounts in Nigeria by CBN. Its Governor Godwin Emefiele believes the new digital currency will act as a wallet for bank accounts, while enabling a cheaper and faster means for remittance inflows.
Weirdly enough, the banned cryptocurrency provides the same and more functions of the new digital currency. Just like the responsibility of the NDIC for bank accounts, Jimoh says the Central Bank of Nigeria will bear all liabilities for the digital currency.
He further urged all Nigerians to download the e-Naira wallet from October 1 from their application stores on iOS and Playstore. Another benefit of the new digital currency according to Jimoh is the low cost of printing e-Naira.
“Today the cost of producing the naira and coins is very high. It costs money to print naira in this country. Now, the minting of e-naira is electronic, so it reduces cost,” he said.
Nigerians have faulted the Central Bank of Nigeria for using a foreign company. Instead of any of the Financial technology companies for the new digital currency.
Jimoh replied that “The CBN digital currency is not what every country has implemented. We are blazing the trail in Africa. Nigeria is the only country in Africa that is doing it. And so many advanced countries are not doing it,”
“What we did is to partner with an entity that has done it, that has that experience because we know that eventually, the system is going to run in Nigeria.”
Currently, the Central Bank of Nigeria seems to be forcing the adoption of the e-Naira on Nigerians and businesses. Elsewhere, in El-Salvador the country has adopted Bitcoin as a legal tender, hence a cryptocurrency as a wallet. Which the country says is not compulsory.
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