Economists have faulted the Central Bank of Nigeria’s digital currency.

They said the apex bank has no business in retail banking and the currency lacked value.

This is following a recent working paper released by the International Monetary Fund which revealed that the eNaira’s adoption was disappointingly low one year after its launch.

According to the IMF, less than one per cent (0.8) of Nigeria’s active bank accounts, accounted for the total retail eNaira wallets.

It stated that only 1.5 per cent of the downloaded wallets was used weekly, indicating that about 98.5 per cent remain unused.

The institution added that the average value of eNaira transactions had been N923m per week, with the average value per one transaction around N60,000.

According to the CBN, the eNaira is a digital form of the naira. It noted that the eNaira is meant to improve monetary policy effectiveness, aid financial inclusion, improve revenue and tax collection, improve payment efficiency, and enhance the government’s targeted social interventions.

Commenting on the matter, the Director, Centre for the Promotion of Private Entreprise, Dr Muda Yusuf, explained that the eNaira concept is a retail banking concept, and the CBN has no business in retail banking whether digital or physical.

The economist noted that the business of the apex bank is regulation, banking supervision, currency management, and financial system stability.

He said that the major problem with the adoption of the eNaira was the lack of value and structure.

Yusuf said, “CBN is structured as a regulator and shouldn’t be in the retail banking space. In the competition principle, you cannot be a regulator and be an operator at the same time, competing with those you are regulating.

“It’s appalling seeing CBN officials on TV going around sensitising the citizens on eNaira. What is the business of CBN with that? When it is not a microfinance bank. They have no business in this space at all and are not bringing any value to the sector.”

Yusuf expressed his disagreement with the CBN’s involvement in eNaira. He stated that Nigerians were not patronising because of lack of value in the digital currency.

He added, “The market is structured in a way that people are attracted by value. You can’t force people to buy your product; if your product is good, they will patronise it. Once there is no patronage, it is an indication that the product itself is not delivering any value.

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