Months after its debut, Major retailers Shun eNaira
A year after the introduction of the Central Bank of Nigeria‘s digital currency, the eNaira, there has been little take-up of the money by major shops and sellers in the nation.
President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retired), officially announced the eNaira on October 25, 2021, after months of promotion by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
It has been four months and five days since the debut of the Central Bank Digital Currency, which took place on March 2nd, 2022.
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, said during the unveiling that the introduction of the eNaira was the result of four years of study performed by the central bank.
According to the Central Bank of Nigeria, the eNaira is a digital currency valued in naira that functions as both a means of exchange and a store of value.
CBN Governor said that the central bank has effectively linked 33 banks onto the eNaira platform, with N500 million being successfully coined by the apex bank to kickstart the initiative.
According to the regulator, although N200 million had been distributed to financial institutions, more than 2,000 consumers had also been on-boarded as of the time of the program’s implementation.
Following the launch of eNaira, the CBDCs speed wallet app as well as the CBDCs merchant wallet became available for download.
As of December 2021, the eNaira consumer wallet has had over 583,000 downloads, while the merchant wallet had received 83,000 downloads, with downloads taking place in more than 160 different countries worldwide.
Moreover, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) reported over 34,000 transactions using the wallets totaling over N188 million, according to Ch’Edozie Okonjo, the bank’s Controller for the Enugu branch.
According to observations made by reporters, despite the large number of transactions, major retail shops in Abuja and other areas of the nation have yet to accept digital currency as a form of payment.
When I went to establishments such as Shoprite and Spa, both of which are situated in the Federal Capital Territory, I discovered that the owners and employees were completely unfamiliar with how digital money works.
Cashiers at ShopRite and Spar who talked on condition of anonymity because they were not permitted to comment on the topic, claimed they weren’t aware of the existence of the eNaira or how it would operate.
Calls made to the customer support phones of e-commerce giants Jumia and Konga also indicated that no provision had been established for eNaira payment on these platforms.
The customer care agent of Konga however said, “We are working to ensure that this payment method becomes available. Once this is done, we will communicate it to our customers.”