Macroeconomic Report & Economic Updates

Nigeria Economic Update (Issue 35)

Nearly one year after the launch of the eNaira project, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, at the Grand Finale of the eNaira Hackathon, announced the commencement of the second phase of the project1. In October 2021, the CBN introduced the eNaira wallet to enhance financial inclusion. As of August 2022, the eNaira wallet has been downloaded about 840,000 times, with around 270,000 active wallets (including over 252,000 consumer and 17,000 merchant wallets) created. Moreover, there have also been over 200,000 transactions valued at N4.4 billion on the platform. The second phase aimed to improve financial inclusion by enrolling the unbanked and underserved through offline channels. With the eNaira wallet, Nigerians can conduct transactions on their mobile phones by using the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) code*997. For a population with over 50 million active bank accounts, the registration for the eNaira wallet is relatively low in proportion to the country’s economic size. Therefore, it is imperative for CBN to collaborate with fintech organisations in planning and organising events targeted at securing the masses’ confidence in the eNaira. Consequently, the downloads and registration on the platform should increase with improved confidence and clarity on the advantages of using the wallet. Hence, an appropriate private sector collaboration could also ensure wider acceptance of the eNaira for economic activities.

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