Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, flanked by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo (left) and Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the CBN, launching the eNaira in Abuja on Monday/Photo: Nigerian Presidency

Nigeria launches Africa’s first digital currency

President Muhammadu Buhari launched a digital currency for Nigeria on Monday in Abuja. The eNaira will complement the physical naira.

“We have become the first country in Africa and one of the first in the world to introduce a digital currency for our citizens,” Buhari said at the event, which took place at the State House. He added that the adoption of the new digital currency would increase Nigeria’s GDP by US$29 billion over the next 10 years.

According to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the eNaira is aimed at improving the payments system in the West African country.

A digital currency is any currency that is primarily managed, stored or exchanged on digital computer systems, especially over the internet. Types of digital currencies include cryptocurrency, virtual currency and central bank digital currency.

Some countries, such as China, Bahamas and Cambodia, have also launched digital currencies.

A statement on the eNaira website (https://www.enaira.gov.ng/) explained the overall function of the currency and its value to Nigeria’s economy.

“eNaira is a Central Bank of Nigeria-issued digital currency that provides a unique form of money denominated in Naira.

“eNaira serves as both a medium of exchange and a store of value, offering better payment prospects in retail transactions when compared to cash payments,” the statement said.

The eNaira, which took several years to develop, would “make financial transactions easier and seamless for every strata of the society,” the CBN said in a press statement.

Kola Tella

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