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HomeBusinessE-Naira jumps by 284%, notes decline to N2.7tn – CBN

E-Naira jumps by 284%, notes decline to N2.7tn – CBN

The volume of eNaira in circulation rose by 284.6 per cent to N9.78bn in August, according to the Central Bank of Nigeria.

This is as the volume of notes and coins declined by 14 per cent to N2.65tn in August 2023. The bank disclosed this in its recently published ‘Economic Report’ for August 2023.

The apex bank noted that the volume of eNaira in circulation is still insignificant when compared to the coins and notes in circulation. It said, “There was a substantial increase in the eNaira, which rose by 284.6 per cent to N9.78bn, although the ratio of eNaira to CIC at 0.37 per cent remained insignificant, compared with notes and coins which accounted for 99.63 per cent.”

Commenting on currency in circulation, the bank stated that this declined by 11.7 per cent to N2.66tn in the month. It explained, “Currency-in-Circulation, however, declined by 11.7 per cent to N2.66tn, which moderated the growth in the reserve money.

 “There was a substantial increase in the eNaira, which rose by 284.6 per cent to N9.78bn, although the ratio of eNaira to CIC at 0.37 per cent remained insignificant, compared with notes and coins which accounted for 99.63 per cent. The volume of notes and coins, however, declined by 14.0 per cent to N2.65tn at end-August 2023.”

It highlighted that this reduction was driven by increased use of alternative channels of payment, as more people adopted electronic transfer payments and other electronic platforms.

Since the CBN launched the eNaira in 2021, there have been questions about its adoption. According to the International Monetary Fund, about 98.5 per cent of eNaira wallets have remained unused one year after the launch of the digital currency.

In a report titled, ‘Nigeria’s eNaira, One Year After,’ the IMF revealed that adoption of eNaira by households and merchants has been slow and low.

It said, “The retail wallet downloads saw a few weeks of initial surge before tapering off. More specially, it only took 25 days for the number of downloaded wallets to reach 500,000 units—but going from there to 600,000 units took another 63 days; and to 700,000 units yet another 143 days.

 “As of end-November 2021, the total number of retails eNaira wallets amounted to about 860,000. This is just 0.8 per cent of Nigeria’s active bank accounts. Merchant wallet download has reached about 100,000 in end-June, which is about one eleventh of the number of merchants with Point-of-Sales (POS) terminals—which enables credit or debit card payments.”

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