eNaira: What to expect from the Nigerian digital currency and how it will work


A few months ago, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced that it was planning to launch a centralized and regulated digital currency called the eNaira. The digital currency was supposed to launch on October 1, but has since been moved indefinitely. To be clear, eNaira is not a cryptocurrency, it is just the digital version of the fiat currency used in Nigeria which is the Naira (₦). According to the CBN, the introduction of the digital version of the Naira is aimed at achieving financial inclusion and creating a smoother way to make payments in Nigeria. With that said, here is what to expect from Nigeria’s new digital currency and how it will work.

eNaira: The start

The CBN has published the guidelines for the launch. Here’s everything you need to know about it:

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  • The eNaira will be administered by the CBN through the Digital Currency Management System (DCMS) to mint and issue the eNaira. This means that the CBN will be responsible for issuing, distributing and destroying the eNaira digital currency.
  • Financial institutions must maintain an eNaira treasury portfolio to own and manage eNaira on the DCMS. This means that licensed financial institutions (commercial banks) in Nigeria will be able to apply for and issue the eNaira.
  • CBN says eNaira is global. That is, it is created to serve individuals, businesses, NGOs, government, financial institutions, etc.

ENaira wallet

Users will be able to receive and transfer money from their wallet to other eNaira wallets, as well as transfer and receive money from bank accounts. There will be different levels of the eNaira wallet with different usage criteria:

  • Level 0 portfolio: This level allows users without a bank account to create an account. All that is required is a photo ID, name and NIN verified phone number. Users of this wallet level have a daily transaction limit of twenty thousand naira (₦ 20,000) and a maximum cumulative balance of one hundred and twenty thousand naira (₦ 120,000).
  • Level 1 portfolio: This level of wallet has the same criteria as the level 0 wallet. However, users of the level 1 wallet have a slightly higher daily transaction limit – Fifty thousand naira (50,000 ₦). As well as a maximum cumulative balance of three hundred thousand naira (₦ 300,000).
  • Level 2 portfolio: This level requires a user to have an existing bank account with a commercial bank in Nigeria. Level users have a daily transaction limit of two hundred thousand naira (₦ 200,000) and a maximum cumulative balance of five hundred thousand naira (₦ 500,000). Users will also need to present a valid means of identification and their Bank Verification Number (BVN).
  • Level 3 portfolio: This level allows for a daily transaction limit of one million naira (1,000,000) and a maximum cumulative balance of five million naira (5,000,000). The minimum requirement for this level is the same as for level 2.

ENaira wallet Characteristics

Below are some of the many features that CBN will provide to eNaira:

  • Unified payment system: Customers can now easily transfer money from their bank account to their wallet.
  • Bank account management: Customers can monitor their wallet, check balances and view transaction history.
  • Peer-to-peer payment: Allows users to send money to each other through a linked bank account or card.
  • Contactless payment: Customers can make in-store payment using their eNaira wallet by scanning QR codes.

Although the eNaira has not been officially launched, its website has gone live and commercial banks in Nigeria have started to integrate the e-Naira app. One of the advantages of the eNaira wallet is that the transaction on the platform will be completely free. Users can transact on all four levels of the wallet free of charge. What do you find most interesting about CBN’s new digital currency? tell us in the comment section


About Ruben V. Albin

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