President Muhammadu Buhari has launched the country’s digital currency, eNaira, a move that makes Nigeria the first African nation to roll out digital currency.
The event was held on Monday at the State House in Abuja, with the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo; governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, and other dignitaries in attendance.
During the launch, President Buhari said the adoption of new CBN digital currency is estimated to increase Nigeria’s GDP by $29 billion over the next 10 years.
“Nigeria has become the first country in Africa, and one of the first in the world to introduce a digital currency to her citizens,” President Muhammadu Buhari said in a televised speech at the launch in Abuja, the capital.
“The adoption of the central bank digital currency and its underlying technology, called blockchain, can increase Nigeria’s gross domestic product by $29 billion over the next 10 years.”
The issuance of the digital currency, called the eNaira, comes after the central bank earlier in February outlawed banks and financial institutions from transacting or operating in cryptocurrencies as they posed a threat to the financial system.
Since the launch of the eNaira platform, it’s received more than 2.5 million daily visits, with 33 banks integrated on the platform, 500 million c ($1.2 million) successfully minted and more than 2,000 customers onboarded, central bank Governor Godwin Emefiele said at the launch.
Other countries like China, Bahamas, and Cambodia have also launched digital currencies.