eNaira is the digital currency, which is launched by CBN (Central Bank Of Nigeria). President Buhari has claimed that it would add $29bn in GDP in the coming ten years. According to the bank, the eNaira will give a boost to the economy. The main purpose of eNaira was to increase remittance and enhance trade.
It has been seen that half of the Nigerian population doesn’t have a bank account. So eNaira was created to bridge that gap and bring people on the digital currency. So that transactions can be carried out in a digital way between the producers and the customers. Six months have passed now and many analysts are still questioning the progress made by eNaira.
However, it has been seen that many Nigerians have access to crypto-currency which the CBN has restricted because it was used in illegal activities. Many experts still question if there is really a need for the eNaira.
Jennifer Echenim, who is a front end engineer, has said that proper planning wasn’t done before the launch of eNaira. Her opinion is on point as she states that there is no demand for the Nigerian currency. As there is no demand for Naira then how can there be a demand for its digital form? The eNaira is considered to be a failure.
Jennifer Echenim has said “It appears to me as a follow-up on restrictions placed on other digital currencies […] Proper research wasn’t done before its launch,” she said. “For a currency to be valued, there needs to be a demand for it; that’s basically what drives digital currencies today (demand). No one is looking for Naira. It isn’t even acceptable or usable outside Nigeria. Building a digital currency on that is definitely a failure.”
Similarly, James Ndubuisi who is the lawyer at Sound Hive Group claims that eNaira is useless. According to him, the project needs to be shut down. He said that he downloaded the app right away when it was released and he didn’t find it any useful.
There has been a lot of criticism on the eNaira app. Many people said that they had issues logging on the app. As that process took a longer time for some even days. However, in many areas people still rely on cash. The sales and transaction have still been going on cash.
Many small businesses still run on cash. Some don’t even have any knowledge on eNaira. Al Jazeera talked to many small businesses and they stated that they have no knowledge of eNaira and some didn’t even know if it existed. Many small businesses have transactions being carried out on cash. So the government claims haven’t been found true. This shows poor planning on behalf of the government. As there was a lack of thought process involved since the beginning of this project. Naira is constantly degrading when compared to the dollar. Its digital form could have no value as it has no value outside or inside of Nigeria. The future of eNaira is still questionable, as a lot has to be changed in the course of Nigerian digital currency. Let’s hope whatever happens remains in the favor of the Nigerian economy and its people.