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eNaira Struggles as Low Adoption Puts Pressure on Nigeria’s Digital Currency


Critics have often said that eNaira, the digital cash used by Nigeria’s central bank, is a useless app. Because banks and other fintech companies already do everything the eNaira can do, and they do it better.

An IMF report (PDF) just showed what critics have been saying. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has published a working paper that says 98.5% of eNaira wallets have never been used.

The IMF study also talked about how slowly people and businesses started using the naira. The slow adoption was blamed on the low number of wallet downloads and transactions. By the end of November 2021, there were only about 860,000 retail eNaira wallets, only 0.8% of Nigeria’s active bank accounts.

Aside from that, the IMF found that most eNaira wallets didn’t seem to be used. On average, only 1.5% of downloaded wallets made trades every week.

Only 0.0018 percent of the typical amount of M3 was transferred via eNaira each week, which meant that the average amount of eNaira transferred every week was 923 million nairas.To deal with these problems, the IMF said a unified policy effort would be needed to drive adoption and break the initial period of low uptake. The study discussed the importance of setting up the right relationship between eNaira and mobile money. It also talked about how integrating the CBDC into remittance processes could save money.




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