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CBN postpones e-Naira launch over independence celebration

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

he Central bank of Nigeria (CBN) has postponed Nigeria’s Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), known as eNaira, launch indefinitely to prevent any distraction during the country’s 61st Independence Anniversary.

CBN said that postponement of the flag-off earlier scheduled for October 1, 2021 as part of the activities lined up for the anniversary was to promote unity and allow other numerous activities lined up to commemorate the year hold without any hindrance.

According to the apex bank, the shift in date was to further ensure that Nigerians rededicate themselves to the collective dream of One Nigeria.

Announcing the postponement in Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja on Thursday, the CBN spokesperson, Osita Nwanisobi, stated that other key activities lined up were discovered more important than the e-currently launch.

While assuring that there was no cause for alarm, he said the CBN and other partners were working round the clock to ensure a seamless process that will be for the overall benefit of the customer, particularly those in the rural areas and the unbanked population.

Highlighting the benefits of the eNaira, Nwanisobi stressed that Nigerians would 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 would also help reduce the use of cash and ensure the stability of the Nigerian economy.

On the readiness of banks and other financial institutions in the financial ecosystem for the launch of the eNaira, he reiterated that eNaira was a journey, explaining that not all banks customers were expected to commence transactions on the day of the launch. He, however, assured that financial institutions in Nigeria remained key actors and were a critical part of the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

Nwanisobi also noted that the CBN was mindful of concerns expressed about the eNaira, being among the first CBDCs in the world. According to him, the Bank had put a structure in place to promptly address any issue that might arise from the pilot implementation of the eNaira

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