The Central Bank of Nigeria says it has minted N500 million eNaira and has already issued N200 million eNaira to banks.
The digital currency went live Monday after an official launch by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The governor of the top bank at the event disclosed that 33 banks are fully integrated and live on the platform, over 2,000 customers have been onboarded and over 120 merchants have successfully registered on the eNaira platform.
“Today, customers who download the eNaira Speed Wallet App will be able to perform the following:
“Onboard and create their wallet; Fund their eNaira wallet from their bank account; Transfer eNaira from their wallet to another wallet; Make payment for purchases at registered merchant locations
“Mr President, today you make history, yet again, with the launch of the eNaira – the first in Africa and one of the earliest around the world. Mr President, as you make groundbreaking reforms, there have been continuing debates on the true value of the Naira,” Mr Emefiele said.
Mr Emefiele said the eNaira is not a one-off event. He said the bank will continue to refine, fine-tune and upgrade it.
A key feature of the eNaira is that it can be accessed without the internet, an attribute the government hopes will engender financial inclusion.
“Therefore, Nigerians should expect to see additional functionalities in the coming months, including Accessibility and onboarding of customers without BVN, and the use of the eNaria on the phone without the internet will further drive financial inclusion, making Nigeria one of the first countries in the world to deploy the CBDC via USSD on phones without relying on internet connectivity; Onboarding of revenue collection agencies to increase and simplify collections; Creation of sector-specific tokens to support the Federal Government’s social programmes and distribution of targeted welfare schemes in a bid to lift millions out of poverty by 2025,” Mr Emefiele said.
He thanked those inside and outside the government for their active collaboration that led to the success of the project.
“I am grateful to all of these agencies and leaders. In particular, I would like to thank the Hon Minister for Communication and Digital Economy, and the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, and all the other agencies under the Ministry for their collaboration and assistance.
“The CBN acknowledges the daunting task ahead. We as such call on all relevant stakeholders including the Financial Institutions, NIBSS, FinTech groups, Telcos, and merchants to collaborate, innovate, deepen and enhance the value of eNaira to Nigerians and to Nigeria. It is the Bank’s hope that the eNaira will drive the digital economy agenda and foster a more prosperous Nigeria.”