Nigeria to Postpone Its CBDC Launch: Reports

The central bank is delaying the eNaira’s start as the African nation gears up to celebrate the 61st anniversary of its independence, according to two reports.

AccessTimeIconSep 30, 2021 at 9:45 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 4:42 p.m. UTC

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has postponed the launch of its digital currency, the eNaira, according to two Nigerian publications.

  • Citing recent remarks by CBN board Governor Godwin Emefiele to a group of foreign investors in New York, Okay.NG wrote the CBN had delayed the launch from its originally scheduled Oct. 1 to Oct. 4. An article in The Sun referencing an announcement on Thursday by CBN spokesperson Nwanisobi Osita didn’t specify a new launch date but said the start had been delayed.
  • Both Emefiele and Osita said the CBN had postponed the launch in deference to the 61st anniversary of Nigerian independence on Oct. 1.
  • Osita told reporters on Thursday the bank was continuing its work on the eNaira, which he said would help reduce Nigerian’s reliance on cash and help stabilize the country’s economy. He added that the CBN didn’t expect all banking customers to use the currency at first.
  • Nigerian financial officials have struggled with cryptocurrency’s rising use in the country. Nigeria banned crypto transactions within the banking sector in February. CBDCs are seen as an effective means of combating crypto’s increasing popularity in a digital age.
  • The eNaira will be accompanied by a wallet sanctioned by the CBN that users can either link to their bank accounts or pay as they go with a prepay option, according to the web page.


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James Rubin

James Rubin was CoinDesk's U.S. news editor based on the West Coast.