- The Nigerian Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) is not known by many Nigerians, according recent survey
- Many of those polled stated that that they will not use the eNaira, mostly due to its intangible and complicated nature
- Analysts blame the Central Bank of Nigeria for slow acceptance and adoption of the eNaira and ask that the bank do more of education over its use
The Central Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been hounding Nigerians over its less-than-a-year-old digital currency, the eNaira and regaling the country with its performance.
Recently, the nation’s apex bank launched an Unstructructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) for its CBDC for Nigerians who do have access to the internet.
For the most part, Nigerians are still largely confused about the eNaira and are asking for its purpose of existence since there are many other alternatives.
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The existence of agency banking, which has dominated every part of the country seems to be dealing a deadly blow to the survival of the eNaira.
Agency banking, popularly known in Nigeria as POS business hass done more to drive financial inclusion and inclusive banking than the much-touted eNaira which seem to be struggling for survival.
Many of those polled by Legit.ng about the use of the eNaira gave almost a blank answer about its existence and their knowledge of eNaira is less than impressive.
Over 80 per cent of those surveyed said they have neither used nor transacted with it, calling it a CBN gimmick aimed at ripping them off.
We don't know it, we won't use it, Nigerians speak
Bolanle Badru, a trader at Iju-Ishaga area of Lagos said she has never heard of or used the digital currency.
“I am quite educated. I do not know if any such thing as e-Naira exists. I make use of mobile money transfer a lot. Where my bank app is not working due to internet issues, I use my bank’s USSD. But you see this eNaira, I don’t know what it is.
Francis Odafe, a businessman told Legit.ng that he tried installing the e-Naira merchant app on his phone, but stopped at the point when he got confused about its functionality.
“In comparison to my bank app, the e-Naira is complete waste of users’ time and efforts.”
Asked if he would try the recently-released USSD by the CBN, Odafe was hesitant and asked what is the use when he can use his bank’s USSD which, he said, has been more effective to him in the rural areas.
“I do not see the use of CBN coming up with USSD for what is not widely known or used. Ninety nine per cent of the time, I use my bank’s USSD even in areas where mobile network is niffy.”
Joy Ogwu seemed more reserved when she asked about the e-Naira. The mother of two and a graduate of Business Administration from Delta State University said that despite her exposure and holding a top position in a logistic firm in Lagos, she has never and does not think she would the digital currency.
“What’s the use? Why would I use something that has many and better alternatives? I am largely impatient when trying out something new. So, in terms of using the e-Naira, 80 per cent of thee time, I won’t use it.”
Ogwu blamed the CBN for poor acceptance of the eNaira, stating that the purpose for its creation is flawed.
“It was made to distract Nigerians, especially the youths from using cryptocurrency and its has failed abysmally. Despite the fact that cryptos are having a winter period right now, Nigerians still prefer them to the so-called eNaira.”
Checks by Legit.ng show that the eNaira Speed Wallet has a little over 100,000 downlonds and do not have impressive reviews.
The eNaira was launched on October 25, 2021 to at the height of the cryptocurrency boom in Nigeria. Largely designed to lure Nigerian away from cryptos, the eNaira has not lived up to its hype.
Analysts advise CBN
Crytpcurrency adoption in Nigeria is wide and the country has been regarded as second-highest users of crytocurrency in the world, behind the United States.
The CBN should do more to educate Nigerians on the eNaira, analysts say. According to them, the ENaira is on a life-support and may die unless the bank puts in the work and resources needed to make it work.
Cryptocurrency adoption overshadows interest in e-Naira
Recall that Legit.ng reported that the free-fall of the Nigerian currency, the Naira at both the official and parallel markets coupled with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s failure to pay adequate attention to Africa’s first CBDC, the e-naira has led to a majority of Nigerians abandoning the nascent digital currency.
Nairametrics report from Google Trends and corroborated by Legit.ng indicates that the interest of Nigerians in the e-Naira has waned over time since it was launched on October 25, 2021.
From the date of the launch to the end of October last year, interest in e-Naira grew massively, overshadowing desires for cryptocurrencies.