Today, October 25th, marks the one-year anniversary since the launch of the first digital currency in Africa, eNaira, by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). In the 12 months of its existence, eNaira has recorded 905,588 downloads and about $1.49 million worth of transactions (September 2022). 

CBN has also sealed important partnerships with Africa’s biggest financial technology company, Flutterwave, and Remita, one of Africa’s top leading electronic payment brands. 

Key takes
The Nigerian government and the CBN needs to put more efforts into educating people on the adoption of the digital currency. Nigerians are not new to virtual currencies as the country leads the continent in terms of crypto adoption according to Triple A. The one-year anniversary of eNaira and the digital currency’s performance so far shows that Nigerians’ passion for virtual currency doesn’t extend to eNaira. 

Maybe this is because Nigerians are still confused about the purpose of eNaira in a cash dominated market. And seeing that the trading of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Ethereum, remains suspended in the country. 

Recently CBN offered a 5 percent discount to drivers and passengers of “Keke Napep” who use the digital currency to encourage the adoption of the digital currency, which currently stands at 1 in 200 people in the continent’s most populous country.

In an interview a 23-year-old driver Hamed Lawan said “why is it asking us to collect eNaira? I thought the government said cryptocurrency is bad?”

Looking forward 
To boost future adoption, the Central Bank needs to have eNaira address pressuring issues including forex crisis, depreciation of Naira, etc. Kingsley Obiora, deputy governor in charge of economic policy at the central bank, believes that eNaira just needs a little push. For example, “if half of government salaries were paid in eNaira it could be a game changer.”

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