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eNaira will be launched by President Buhari on Monday 25 October, announces the Central Bank of Nigeria

Three weeks after suspending the launch of the eNaira, the eNaira will now be launched on Monday 25 October by President Muhamadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja FCT, announces the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The announcement is contained in a public notice dated 23 October 2021 and signed by Osita Nwanisobi, CBN’s Director of Corporate Communications.

The CBN stated that “following [sic] series of engagements with relevant stakeholders including the banking community, fintech operators, merchants and indeed, a cross section of Nigerians, the CBN designed the digital currency, which shall be activated on Monday, October 25, 2021”.

According to the CBN, “the launch of the eNaira is a culmination of several years of research work by the Central Bank of Nigeria in advancing the boundaries of payments system in order to make financial transactions easier and seamless for every strata of the society.”

Similar to the CBN’s statement in the Design Paper for the eNaira where the CBN stated that the eNaira is a “work in process” and needs all Nigerians’ contribution, the CBN has also pointed out in the public notice that “the eNaira is a journey”. Therefore, the unveiling marks “the first step in that journey, which will continue with a series of further modifications, capabilities and enhancements to the platforms.” The CBN emphasized that the eNaira being a new product, and “amongst the first CBDCs in the world”, the CBN has put a structure in place “to promptly address any issue that might arise from the pilot implementation of the eNaira.” 

Hopefully, the CBN’s repeated emphases that the eNaira is a “work in process” and “a journey that will need further modifications, capabilities, and enhancements” is not a hint of what could go wrong after the eNaira launch being a pilot test. Three weeks after suspension of the earlier launch date of October 1, it was ruminated earlier that the CBN might have decided to engage members of the public some more before the eventual launch.

The CBN has assured Nigerians that it “will continue to work with relevant partners to ensure a seamless process that will benefit every user, particularly those in the rural areas and the unbanked population”.

In CBN’s words: “The eNaira therefore marks a major step forward in the evolution of money and the CBN is committed to ensuring that the eNaira, like the physical Naira, is accessible by everyone.”

The theme of the eNaira is “Same Naira, more possibilities”. The CBN invites everyone to explore the benefits of the eNaira:

Knowing that the eNaira is the same as the Naira—Nigeria’s legal tender—what possibilities do you see with the eNaira?

CAB photo of CBN Facebook post on eNaira launch 23 October 2021

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