The value of eNaira in circulation rose by 302 per cent in nine months to N10.26 billion at the end of September reflecting increased adoption of Africa’s Central Bank Digital currency.
Vanguard also gathered that the increased adoption was driven by transactions via USSD channe
Introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN in October 2021 the eNaira is the digital form of the Naira and used just like the paper money (cash). The eNaira wallet is a digital storage that holds the eNaira. The eNaira wallet is required to access, hold and use eNaira.
Vanguard analysis of CBN data on Currency in Circulation, from the quarterly statistical bulletin of the CBN for the 3rd quarter 2023, showed that the value of eNaira in circulation rose sharply by 302 per cent in nine months to N10.26 billion at the end of September 30th, 2023, 9M’23 from N2.55 billion at the end of 2022, 9M’22.
The increase represents 131 percentage points higher than the 171 per cent increase recorded in the same period of 2022.
Further analysis showed that eNaira in circulation recorded quarter-on-quarter, QoQ growth of 90 per cent, 48 per cent and 43 per cent in the Q1’23, Q2’23 and Q3’23 respectively.
The upsurge in the value of eNaira in circulation follows additional measures implemented by the CBN to boost adoption and usage among members of the banking public. These include introduction of the Enhanced USSD service channel which targets feature phone users, and allows Nigerians to open an eNaira wallet and conduct transactions by simply dialling *997 from their mobile phones. Furthermore, the CBN in June introduced the eNaira as a payout option for beneficiaries of Diaspora remittances.
According to sources close to the apex bank, the upsurge in eNaira adoption was driven by transactions via the USSD channels. It was gathered that the volume and value of eNaira transactions via the USSD channel rose year-on-year, YoY by 92.95 per cent and 120.93 per cent in 9M’23 respectively while the number of merchants accepting eNaira also rose 11.97 per cent during the same period.
It was also gathered that the use of eNaira as payout option for Diaspora remittances is still at a pilot phase.