The Central Bank of Nigeria has postponed the unveiling of the country’s first digital currency, eNaira, citing key activities lined up for Nigeria’s independence anniversary.
The apex bank had asked Nigerians to download the eNaira app on their mobile gadgets from October 1, 2021.
But Osita Nwasinobi, CBN’s Director of Corporate Communications, in a statement on Thursday, said the suspension of the launch was in deference to the mood of national rededication to the collective dream of “One Nigeria.”
This is coming barely 24 hours after a Lagos-based company, ENaira Payment Solutions Limited, instituted a suit before a Federal High Court against the Central Bank of Nigeria over the name “eNaira.”
The firm, through its lawyers, accused the CBN of trademark infringement, notifying it to desist from using the proposed name.
“Ahead of the anticipated launch of Nigeria’s Central Bank Digital Currency, known as eNaira, the spokesman of the Central bank of Nigeria, Mr. 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,” the CBN statement read.
Nwasinobi assured that there is no cause for alarm, saying the CBN and other partners were working round the clock to ensure a seamless process that will be for the “overall benefit of the customer, particularly those in the rural areas and the unbanked population.”
He stressed that the digital currency would ease peer-to-peer transfer, pay for goods and services at selected merchants once launched.
The CBN director added that the apex bank had put a structure in place to promptly address any issue that might arise from the pilot implementation of the eNaira.
No new date has been announced for the launch.