Business Economy Nigeria

CBN Suspends Launch of Digital Currency, eNaira

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The launch of Nigeria’s much-anticipated Central Bank Digital Currency known as ‘eNaira’ initially slated for October 1, has been postponed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The apex bank on Thursday announced the postponement of the planned unveiling of the digital currency.

The launch was rescheduled due to other activities lined up to commemorate the nation’s 61st Independence Anniversary.

CBN’s Director of Communications, Osita Nwasinobi, explained in a statement that the CBN took the decision to postpone the launch, which had been initially planned to coincide with the Independence anniversary, in deference to the mood of national rededication to the collective dream of One Nigeria.

The statement was titled, “CBN defers eNaira launch to mark Independence Anniversary”

It states in part: “Ahead of the anticipated launch of Nigeria’s Central Bank Digital Currency, known as eNaira, the Spokesman of the Central bank of Nigeria, Osita Nwanisobi, says the planned unveiling on October 1, 2021 has now been deferred due to other key activities lined up to commemorate the country’s 61st Independence Anniversary.”

Nwasinobi assured that there is no cause for worry and that the CBN and other partners were working round the clock to ensure a seamless process that will be for the overall advantage of the customer, particularly those in the rural areas and the unbanked population.

Reiterating the benefits of the eNaira, he stressed that Nigerians would be able to carry out peer-to-peer transfer to another person’s eNaira wallet as well as pay for goods and services at selected merchants.

He added that the eNaira would also help reduce the use of cash and ensure stability of the Nigerian economy.

Nwanisobi also noted that the CBN was mindful of concerns expressed about the eNaira, being among the first CBDCs in the world.

According to him, the Bank had put a structure in place to promptly address any issue that might arise from the pilot implementation of the eNaira.

However, while a lawsuit loom…it is unclear if the postponement is related to a cease-and-desist lawsuit sent to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) concerning the use of the name “eNaira.”

“For these reasons, our client has approached the Federal High Court in Suit No: FHC/AB/CS/113/2021 between ENAIRA PAYMENT SOLUTIONS LIMITED vs CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA to seek a restraining order including an order to restrain CBN from proceeding in the launch on 1st October 2021,” the Notice stated.

It adds that in the short-term, the CBN was been warned to cease and desist from using or purporting to use the name eNaira for its product or in any other way.

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