Public acceptance necessary to grow eNaira, say experts

TECHDIGEST – Experts in the financial sector have said the growth of the eNaira is dependent on its acceptance by the general public.

When the CBN launched the e-Naira in October 2021, Nigeria became one of the first countries in the world to launch a central bank digital currency that is available to the public. However, there have been questions about its adoption and general acceptance.

According to the Deputy-President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce, Gabriel Idahosa, the Central Bank of Nigeria’s digital currency offers an additional option for cashless transactions.

While speaking to our correspondent, he said, “Widespread adoption of eNaira will grow as more merchants and other vendors or service providers in the private and public sector announce its acceptance. Commercial banks have already enabled all bank customers to fund their eNaira wallets.”

Speaking on the sustainability of the digital currency, he noted that the nationwide acceptance of eNaira was hinged on the efforts of the federal, state, and local governments.

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He added, “As all federal, state and local government agencies announce the acceptance of eNaira, its adoption by the public will rise.

“Also, hotels, supermarkets, transporters, taxis, intercity bus services, airlines, etc. and similar service providers will drive further growth in adoption as they announce the acceptance of the eNaira.

“Like banks, payment service providers like Flutterwave only enable adoption by providing an additional option to vendors and consumers to do a cashless transaction.”

Buttressing Idahosa’s point, economic expert, Prof Akpan Ekpo, stated that commercial banks involvement in advocacy and efforts for the eNaira to gain adoption was vital for improved acceptance.

He said, “Commercial banks should also join the effort. If we keep up the advocacy, and people see the benefit, in the long-term it is sustained. It also depends on the other climes, the eNaira is not just in Nigeria but in other countries. If they see progress being made and realise the benefits in the long term, it is sustainable.”

The PUNCH had earlier reported that the Central Bank of Nigeria launched a sensitisation fair for residents across the 13 Local Government Areas of Nasarawa state.

According to the Director of Corporate Communications, CBN, Osita Nwanisobi, the programme was to educate residents of the state on the interventions, policies, and programmes of the CBN and to encourage them to start using the eNaira for financial transactions.

On May 11 2022, the CBN’s governor, Godwin Emefiele, stated that central banks across Africa and other parts of the world were trying to study the nation’s eNaira project.

During an experience-sharing tour of the CBN’s CBDC by officials of the Bank of Uganda in Abuja, he said, “We feel delighted with what we are doing in the area of the Central Bank Digital Currency. What we are doing in the area of eNaira is attracting the interest of different countries in the world.”

He noted that the CBN had received inquiries from central banks in Africa and the world to understand what the bank was doing.

 

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