The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Thursday night suspended the launch of its Digital Currency (CBDC) – the eNaira, earlier scheduled for October 1, 2021.
The CBN Spokesman Osita Nwanisobi said the planned unveiling was suspended due to other key activities lined up to commemorate the country’s 61st Independence Anniversary.
“The CBN decided 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,” Nwanisobi noted in a statement.
Assuring that there was no cause for alarm, he said the CBN and other partners are committed to ensuring a seamless process that will be for the overall benefit of the customer, particularly those in the rural areas and the unbanked population.
On the benefits of the eNaira, Nwanisobi explained that Nigerians will be able to carry out peer-to-peer transfers to another person’s eNaira wallet as well as pay for goods and services at selected merchants. He added that the eNaira will also help reduce the use of cash and ensure the stability of the Nigerian economy.
Speaking to the readiness of banks, financial institutions and other stakeholders in the financial ecosystem for the launch of the eNaira, he reiterated that the digital currency is a journey and that not all bank customers are expected to commence transactions on the day of the launch. He further assured that financial institutions in Nigeria remain key actors and were a critical part of the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).
Nwanisobi also noted that the CBN is mindful of concerns expressed about the eNaira, being among the first CBDCs in the world. According to him, the Apex Bank has already structures in place to promptly address any issue that might arise from the pilot implementation of the eNaira.