The eNaira, Nigeria’s digital currency, has seen a 63% year-on-year increase in transaction value, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor revealed recently.
“The eNaira has emerged as the electronic payment channel of choice for financial inclusion and executing social interventions,” said CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, as reported by Bloomberg News.
According to the Governor, Nigerians have opened around 13 million e-wallets, which represents more than a 12-fold increase in the last 5 months, while the amount of currency in circulation in Africa’s largest economy has fallen from 3.2 trillion Naira down to 1 trillion Naira.
It is less than one month since banks in Nigeria restarted issuing old Naira notes following a ruling by the supreme court which maintained the country’s old banknotes as legal tender alongside the new Naira currency, released in November 2022.
The new notes, which are intended to address counterfeiting and hoarding of cash, were initially supposed to cease to be legal tender by February 10 2023, a situation which caused a circulation crisis in the country.
CBN had asked banks to swap the old notes for the new notes but many people received nothing in exchange for their old Naira notes when they brought them to commercial banks, according to reports in Nigeria.
Emefiele, in his remarks to reporters however, attributed the rise in the adoption of eNaira to the Nigerian government’s use of the currency to disburse aid payments to low-income earners. This move led to the opening of about 4 million e-wallets by citizens in the country.
The current number of eNaira users is significantly higher than the 700,000 Nigerians who had downloaded the digital wallet as of October 2022 when CBN marked the one-year anniversary of the eNaira’s introduction. At the ceremony, the Governor had blamed banks for not doing enough to market the digital currency vowing to intensify efforts.
“From today, we are going to carry out this sensitization program through all the nooks and crannies of this country until eNaira is widely accepted,” a CBN official said at the ceremony.
Follow us on Twitter for the latest posts and updates
Join and interact with our Telegram community