The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will reportedly enable locals to pay their bills, TV subscriptions, and flight tickets using the eNaira. The move is part of a campaign that aims to popularize the financial product and encourage people to employ it more often in their daily transactions.
The Upgrade of Nigeria’s CBDC
It is safe to say that the most populated country in Africa – Nigeria – is among the leaders in terms of CBDC efforts. Last year, the authorities introduced the eNaira under the slogan “Same Naira, more possibilities.” The nation’s central bank raised hopes that the product will make financial transactions “easier and seamless for every strata of the society.”
According to a recent coverage, the CBN will upgrade its CBDC next week, allowing members of the public to use it as a payment method for bills, flight tickets, or TV and Internet subscriptions. To do so, the financial institution partnered with the mobile banking firm – Bizi Mobile. Providing more details was Bariboloka Koyor – Branch Controller at the CBN:
“Starting from next week, there is going to be an upgrade on the eNaira speed wallet app that will allow you to do transactions such as paying for DSTV or electric bills or even paying for flight tickets.“
The bank asserted that more Nigerians will become aware of the product as a result of the upgrade. They should also start using it more often as a means of payment and thus, strengthen its presence around the country.
“This is a project that the CBN has rolled out to reach out to every Nigerian in terms of financial inclusion and in terms of efficiency, reliability, and safety of banking transactions so that we can do banking transactions very easily and safely and the people in Nigeria can enjoy the benefit of the eNaira,” Koyor concluded.
Nigerians Are Keen on Crypto
Despite the CBN’s attempts to introduce the eNaira to the locals, it remains uncertain how successful that move would be. The reason is that Nigerians are highly intrigued by cryptocurrencies like bitcoin (which are entirely different from CBDCs).
A recent study estimated that over 33 million of Nigeria’s adults have owned or traded digital assets in the past six months. 52% of those have invested more than half of their wealth into the market, while 70% vowed to increase their exposure by the end of 2022.
The research determined that the high interest in the asset class is fueled mainly by the accelerating inflation levels. Many locals decided to convert their devaluating fiat currency into crypto, hoping to preserve their wealth during the financial turmoil.
The fact that a considerable chunk of Nigerians lacks access to basic financial services is another reason why they have jumped on the digital asset bandwagon.