The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said it has no plans to replace Naira notes in circulation with digital currency, the eNaira, whether now or in future.
The CBN spokesperson, Osita Nwanisobi, put up a strong rebuttal in a telephone conversation with journalists on Saturday in abuja following media reports purporting the apex bank gave that indication during a stakeholders’ engagement on eNaira adoption in Asaba, Delta state.
Nwanisobi said such insinuations were not only false, but misconstrued to cause confusion.
Urging the general public to disregard such report in its entirety, Nwanisobi said the digital version of the Naira was meant to complement the existing currency notes and therefore, would circulate simultaneously as a means of exchange and store of value.
On the benefits of adopting the eNaira, Nwanisobi hinted that the digital legal tender, aside from the safety and speedy features, would also ensure greater access to financial services by the underbanked and unbanked populace, thereby enhancing financial inclusion in the economy.
Nwanisobi therefore, urged members of the public and business owners to embrace the digital currency, the eNaira as it offers more possibilities.
The eNaira was formally launched into circulation by President Muhammadu Buhari in October last year.
Since the unveiling of the eNaira, the CBN has always maintained in various interventions that it is the digital form of the Nigerian physical Naira currently in circulation.
Issued in line with Section 19 of the CBN Act, the apex bank has always clarified that eNaira is, in essence, its direct liability built on a blockchain open ledger technology that prevents duplication or creation of fake units, with each eNaira note being unique and different.
Although the eNaira is a digital currency issued and backed by the authority of the Nigerian government as a legal tender equivalent to the physical Naira cash, pegged against the traditional Naira and will not fluctuate due to market influence at a different rate from the traditional Naira.
“The eNaira is a legal tender and will form part of the currency-in-circulation. More importantly, the e-naira will be at par with the physical Naira, maintaining the same exchange value as the Naira, meaning one eNaira is of the same value with one traditional Naira i.e N1=1 eNaira”, the CBN at the launch of the digital currency last year.