Nigerian Experts Insist Africa’s First Central Bank Digital Currency Is Currently Not for the Unbanked – Fintech Bitcoin News – News Couple
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Nigerian Experts Insist Africa’s First Central Bank Digital Currency Is Currently Not for the Unbanked – Fintech Bitcoin News


While the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) continues to promote the e-naira credential as a tool to promote financial inclusion, some experts agree that this central bank digital currency (CBDC) does not currently do so.

The Chaotic Start of the CBD

This assertion, along with the e-naira app’s brief removal from the Google Play Store, appears to lend credence to claims that the CBN may have rushed what is actually Africa’s first CBDC.

Although a report from Punch newspaper indicates that CBN is now working on a version of the e-naira app for unbanked people, it still doesn’t say when this will likely be available. This is illustrated by the CBN which has left players in the Nigerian blockchain industry wondering about the ability of the central bank to manage this CBDC.

As one cryptocurrency expert explained by Cryptoassetbuyer, this failure by the CBN to roll out a digital currency accessible to all Nigerians means that the central bank is unlikely to achieve its main objective of providing financial services to the unbanked population of Nigeria. The expert, Chiagozie Iwu, founder of Naijacrypto and CEO of CI Cryptosolutions explained:

First, the app requires me to use a bank app before I can deal with it; So what is the service that you give me that the banks don’t actually offer me? So it doesn’t seem to me that the CBN is aimed at people who don’t have a bank account. Obviously, anyone with a smartphone to download an app should also have a bank account in the first place. The fact that I have to use my bank account to log in refutes the saying that they will “unbank”.

Although CBN has repeatedly promised that its e-naira wallet will be available to non-smartphone users to transact with digital currency, this service was not available at the time of writing.

Confidence deficit of the Central Bank of Nigeria

Meanwhile, in addition to not being available for feature phone users, the e-naira app could be the product of haphazard planning, according to Iwu. While acknowledging that the e-naira app – just like other apps – may contain a few “bugs”, Iwu suggested that this could have been avoided if the CBN had properly used the funds that had been allocated to the project.

Another expert, Charles Okaformbah, chief technology officer at Convexity, suggested that a beta test could have prevented the CBN from launching the flawed app. The report quotes Okaform as his explanation:

I think if the app developers had done a lot of testing – eg thoroughly testing the app with a select group of people outside the development team – I think some issues would have been noticed and fixed.

Economist Lloyd Onaginon believes that the collaboration between CBN and players in the Nigerian blockchain industry could lead to a much better end product.

In conclusion, Cryptoassetbuyer’s report notes that there is a significant trust deficit and that the onus is on the CBN to fix this.

Do you agree that the Central Bank of Nigeria may have rushed its digital currency to the central bank? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

photo credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons, i_am_zews

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