Does Nigeria really need CBN’s e-Naira?

Does Nigeria really need CBN’s e-Naira?

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has actually mentioned that it plans to launch the pilot plan of its Reserve bank Digital Currency (CBDC) on Self-reliance Day. This was pointed out at a press instruction provided by Rakiya Mohammed, Director, IT Department at the CBN.

She mentioned that the peak bank has actually been conducting research study in regard to central bank digital currencies since 2017 and might perform a proof of principle before completion of this year.

The job name is tagged Project “GIANT” and a blockchain technology referred to as the Hyperledger Material Blockchain is being utilized. The CBN has actually likewise dubbed its CBDC ‘e-Naira.’

READ: CBN drafts standards to Nigerian banks on e-Naira

In a discussion to banks, as earlier reported by Nairametrics, the CBN provided insight into how the e-Naira would operate, keeping in mind that it will be a legal tender for the whole country and have non-interest-bearing CBDC status, a deal limitation for clients and a value-based transaction limit.

According to the presentation likewise, the CBN will release its own wallet called the “Speed wallet,” but the wallet will not take on existing banks. The CBN awaits the production of “wallets” by banks and other innovators.

READ: Exclusive: Digital Currency partner, Bitt Inc to sign up in Nigeria, CBN to own stake

How to utilize the e-Naira

To use the e-Naira to negotiate, users will have to download the speed wallet, confirm their account on the wallet by utilizing either their telephone number, National Identity Number (NIN) or Bank Verification Number (BVN). As soon as done, users can begin to utilize the wallet. According to the presentation, users will have the ability to send out cash utilizing Peer-to-Peer (P2P) transactions through their wallets to other wallet holders, Person-to-Marchant/Business where e-Naira users can pay for products to merchants who have the e-Naira wallet and vice versa.

The presentation also shows how the Federal government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) will be onboarded and utilize the e-Naira to do remittances to their personnel and members of the public when there is mass adoption of the e-Naira and how citizens can pay to MDAs using the e-Naira.

READ: How CBN’s e-Naira would affect Nigerians

Advantages of the e-Naira

Sean Stein Smith, a professor at the City University of New York, Lehman College, specified, ” A CBDC issued and governed by a reserve bank or other governmental company will help push the accounting and reporting discussion forward.

” Accounting might not produce splashy headlines, but in order for any crypto, and by extension blockchain, to attain broader use, accounting and reporting requirements to be standardized.

” Taking a look at the tax problems linked to cryptocurrency alone highlights the requirement for standardized and consistent regulative treatment that does not stifle further development.”

The e-Naira will likewise benefit as it will make governmental remittances easier. The case of the palliatives provided throughout the lockdown in 2015, where many Nigerians did not get theirs, can be solved if the federal government can quickly remit money to its people. The e-Naira will likewise have the ability to much better execute the CBN’s cashless policy.

Another point will be the reduction in the requirement for printing money in the long term.

In addition, the cases of monetary fraud can be quickly tracked as the federal government will be able to keep an eye on the flow of cash around the country as it supplies openness and is difficult to counterfeit.

With the use-case described let’s attend to the elephant in the space. Does Nigeria really need a CBDC?

The Nigerian banking system is among the most sophisticated in the world and the banking system continues to advance its technological strength. In Nigeria, domestic intra bank deals are done within seconds and at most minutes, a feat the United States was just able to achieve in 2017 through the development of Zelle.

Prior to Zelle, fintech items like CashApp controlled immediate transfers in the U.S. The U.S industrial banks took 2-3 days to transfer money between banks and when they recognized a great deal of users began embracing these fintech applications, they started integrating Zelle into their system to promote these instantaneous payments between banks so as to meet the competition.

Asides from our technological strength, the average Nigerian deal involves the usage of four payment approaches which are all instant; Point of Sale (POS) device, Online Bank Transfer, USSD Code allowed transfers and fiat currency.

Dipo Fatokun, CBN’s previous Director of Banking and Payment System, defined financial addition as the access to financial services that are readily available to the adult population in any provided economy. A major element of the e-Naira is the requirement for smartphones.

Given that the CBN’s required likewise includes financial inclusion, the proposed e-Naira restricts the variety of individuals within the nation that can have access to a digital wallet, not to mention, a CBDC.


Although one might make a case that making use of CBDC assists to much better keep track of illegal deals within the nation, but in the real world, a Nigerian CBDC will be too costly to execute and might be rendered ineffective quickly when compared to other systems that exist. The banking system is advanced enough to handle deals as a method of payment. The central bank is better off spending its time and resources on pushing problems like how to combat double-digit inflation.

According to Olumide Adesina, an author for CoinDesk, ” The CBN aims for the CBDC to increase monetary inclusion rapidly and easily. Producing and holding funds for people in a reserve bank account could use much better access to monetary services for the unbanked or underbanked.

” However, some economic experts likewise think the CBN can spend in deficit and shift funds directly to citizens without stressing over the nationwide financial obligation in times of financial hardship. Simply put, a CBDC might provide an apparent inflation danger.”

He even more stated, ” This would likewise improve control over the level of access a Nigerian resident has to a monetary system, particularly if the citizen attempts to participate in behaviours thought about to be a risk by the monetary authority.”

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