By Our Reporters
Enaira Debuts: What You Need to Know
eNaira, or electronic naira, the digital counterpart of the national currency of Nigeria, officially comes into use today, October 1, 2021. Issued and regulated by the Central Bank of Nigeria, it comes as digital wallets that will ensure safe and speedy transactions between buyers and sellers. It also permits peer-to-peer exchange of value.
Anybody is permitted to hold the digital currency but unlike money in a bank, it doesn’t yield any interest.
“eNaira is the digital form of the cash and is a direct liability on the Central Bank of Nigeria while the customer deposits are direct liabilities on the financial institutions,” said the CBN on the digital money website.
Obviously, the eNaira is both an outcome and a beneficiary of the digital revolution that has changed how virtually everything is done. Individuals and institutions in need of quick and efficient means of carrying out various financial transactions are being provided this regulatory response to this need. Some analysts have also hinted at a need by the monetary authorities to deflect the growing interest among Nigerians crypto-currencies , recently seen by central banks around the world (including Nigeria) as a threat to the current monetary order that must be contained.
One eNaira is the equivalent of one paper naira, and serves both as medium of exchange and a store of value, according to the CBN. It’s many uses have been classified below according to sectors:
It’s expected to provide a cheaper and yet more secure and faster means of diaspora remittances.
- Transparent monitoring
It will enable transparent monitoring of illicit transfer, including those intended go commit fraud, due to its traceability.
It’s seen as a useful tool in social welfare interventions, such as when the government needs to distribute cash to individuals, households or communities. eNaira provides a fast and efficient means of distributing such funds.
- Financial inclusion
For a government keen on bringing excluded segments of the population into the financial system, the eNaira provides a means to accelerate the process.
The digital currency is expected to facilitate both local and international trade by making remittances not only quick, but also safe as well as cheap.
Unlike paper money, the eNaira can neither be forged due to its digital security and identify system.
Nigeria expects improved revenue collection and better cash management with the introduction of eNaira, with the additional benefit of reducing handling costs for physical cash.
What started today is described as the pilot stage by the central bank. The maximum daily amount of money that can be transacted in the digital currency is half a million naira, with a cumulative limit of five million naira. The minimum daily limit is 20,000 naira for people who have no bank accounts, with a cap of 120,000 naira. This indicates a very cautious approach by the regulators.
- People without bank accounts can enroll with their National Identity Number-verified phone numbers. They’ll have a daily transaction limit of 20,000 naira and cumulative limit of 120,000 naira.
- Another option for people without bank accounts, who have NIN-verified phone numbers, allows a daily transaction limit of 50,000 naira and a cumulative limit of 300,000 naira.
- The first option for people with account numbers and Bank Verification Numbers permits transactions of 200,000 naira and a cumulative maximum of 500,000 naira.
- The second tier for account owners requires presentation of a public utility receipt for users to make daily transactions of 500,000 naira and with cumulative ceiling of 5,000,000 naira.
To use the eNaira, one needs a digital wallet, an electronic storage where the money “is held and managed on a distributed ledger,” as the CBN describes it.
For smartphone users, creating an eNaira wallet requires downloading the eNaira app named speed from either Google Playstore, for Android users, or Apple Store, for IPhone users. Registration is also accessible through USSD commands of the “non-smartphones” or places where the internet isn’t accessible.
The app or USSD registration will enable users to connect to their bank accounts or load money into the digital wallet. Funds can be sent from the wallet to bank account, transferred peer-to-peer or expended using the QR Code reader on smartphones.