Banks in defining moment as eNaira kicks off today

Nigeria sets a remarkable record as it becomes the first country on the continent of Africa to launch a digital currency. The Central Bank of Nigeria, the nation’s apex bank, called this achievement “one of the milestones of a long journey.”

While this is a feat worth celebrating, its launch is also causing some tension in the banking sector. In fact, the concept note admits that the e-Naira project could shake the banking industry given that it comes with a disintermediation risk.

As the anxiety grows, some experts have argued that eNaira is simply another disruptive technology banks will be forced to accept and adjust to. Adaptation is key because it is the one way lenders can avoid being left overrun.

This launch will position Nigeria on the global Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) tracking map as the fifth country worldwide to launch a centralized national electronic currency after the Bahamas first unveiled its version in 2017.

Nigeria’s launch was initially scheduled for October 1, 2021, but that date was later shifted when the apex bank stated that it was postponed due to the national celebrations to mark the country’s 61st Independence anniversary. 

The unveiling will be done by President Muhammadu Buhari today at the State House, Abuja.

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