President Muhammadu Buhari is set to launch at the State House, Abuja, the Nigerian Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).
The unveiling of the much-anticipated electronic money had been delayed partly to allow for the country’s 61st independence celebration, according to the CBN.
Nwanisobi, CBN’s Director, Corporate Communications in a statement said that the launch of the eNaira is a culmination of several years of research work by the central bank in advancing the boundaries of the payments system to make financial transactions easier and seamless for every strata of the society.
CBN has designed the digital currency, following a series of engagements with relevant stakeholders including the banking community, fintech operators, merchants, and indeed, a cross-section of Nigerians.
“The CBN will continue to work with relevant partners to ensure a seamless process that will benefit every user, particularly those in the rural areas and the unbanked population.
“Since the eNaira is a new product, and amongst the first CBDCs in the world, we have put a structure to promptly address any issue that might arise from the pilot implementation of the eNaira.
“Accordingly, following Monday’s formal launch by the president, the bank will further engage various stakeholders as we enter a new age consistent with global financial advancement.”
According to him, the theme of the eNaira is: “Same Naira, more possibilities”.
The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, had said that in unveiling the digital money, the bank does not downplay potential risks, adding however that the apex financial regulatory body had put in place appropriate mitigation mechanisms for safer operation.
“We are not going to pretend that there are no risks in opening your system up. We will look at the various products, determine the risks, determine the best way to mitigate the risks before opening it up.
“But it is a journey that we are determined and decided that we will start on October 2021.”
The unveiling of the eNaira was originally slated for October 1, 2021, but was put on hold due to other key activities lined up to commemorate the country’s 61st independence anniversary.
However, the CBN, in the framework for the operation of the eNaira further set the transaction and balance limits for individual and merchant eNaira wallets.
In the Tier 0 category or phone number without verified National Identity Number (NIN), the daily transaction is limited to N20,000 with a balance or eWallet limit set at N120,000.
For the Tier 1 category with verified National Identity Number (NIN), the daily transaction limit is set at N50,000 with an N300,000 balance.
However, those in the Tier 2 category will be able to do transactions up to N200,000 daily with an eWallet balance of N500,000, while Tier 3 will have daily transactions of N1 million with balances of N5 million.
However, merchants, or duly accredited individuals and non-individual (corporates) authorised to conduct business in Nigeria will have no limits on eNaira transactions.
The guidelines, among other things, said FIs shall put in place appropriate measures to ensure sound risk management practices to address potential threats to their operations.
These include an enterprise risk management framework; Appropriate governance structures; Documented and approved policies; and Secured information technology infrastructure.
It said, “Financial Institutions shall be required to implement additional risk management measures as may be prescribed by CBN guidelines from time to time.”
The guidelines stipulated the role and responsibilities of the different stakeholders particularly concerning ensuring the prevention or minimisation of loss following a loss, theft of a user’s device or compromise, hack of user eNaira wallet.