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IPFS News Link • Economy - International

Nigerian CBDC Still Not Widely Used a Year After Launch

•, by Terence Zimwara

In a move aimed at boosting the use of the CBDC, the central bank is offering a 5% discount to motorized rickshaw drivers and passengers that use the e-naira. Kingsley Obiora, a deputy governor at the CBN, suggested that the digital currency needs "a little push from the government" if it is to be widely embraced.

E-Naira Rollout at Phase 2
As Nigeria commemorated the e-naira's first anniversary on October 25, critics have claimed that the average Nigerian has still not embraced Africa's first central bank digital currency (CBDC). They point to the e-naira wallet's relatively low number of downloads as well as the still-growing use of cryptocurrencies when remitting funds or making cross-border payments.

In August, News reported that between January and June this year, peer-to-peer bitcoin traded volumes on Paxful alone amounted to nearly $400 million. The figure is more than half the $760 million that was recorded in the whole of 2021. According to Paxful, Nigerians were resorting to cryptocurrencies and peer-to-peer trading platforms because they provide "an opportunity for financial inclusion."

Yet, despite the apparent snub of the CBDC by Nigerians so far, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is still projecting an eightfold increase in the number of e-naira wallet downloads. As previously reported by News, the central bank hopes to achieve this via the use of various initiatives that include enabling the unstructured supplementary service data (USSD) functionality to the wallet app.

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