eNaira: Another Crucial Sensitisation Move
By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem
Any good news that is not known is as worthless as nothing if not as bad as bad news because there is no way it can impact anybody’s life if it is not known by anybody. It is not by happenstance or coincidence that eNaira has in less than two years of its lunch become a household name in the country. It is largely due to the careful and meticulous planning on advocacy and publicity by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Even though only a fraction of the country’s huge population is making use of the eNaira wallet, majority of the populace now knows about it and have at least a faint idea of what it is all about and how it can help them live a better life. The only reason this category of Nigerians are yet to onboard is the typical Nigerian mentality of waiting till the last moment before doing anything… The tendency to wait for when it becomes a compulsion before embracing any form of change.
This culture of not being proactive, of waiting till some form of official deadline is announced before doing the right thing was the reason Nigerians suffered untold hardship during the last cash crunch. This is because the warning signs were there. They were obvious to the deaf and visible to the blind. The deadline for phasing out the old naira notes was announced and there were a couple of postponements to give people enough time to do the needful but Nigerians were still caught in the web of unavailability of cash. Before the CBN rolled out the series of cashless policies, a lot of e-payment channels had been made available to Nigerians as options to send and receive money as well as other transactions. Yet, the worst happened and the Supreme Court ruling had to save lives by ordering the return of old naira notes.
But if we want to be fair to Nigerians, we will acknowledge the fact that the untold torture they went through during the cash crunch was not entirely due to their fire brigade mentality. The network for online transactions and even that of USSD were dysfunctional and epileptic throughout the cash crunch period and that left Nigerians with no options available for them to send and receive money. People therefore suffered hunger and some died of illnesses that could have been cured if they had access to their monies to get appropriate medical care.
eNaira as Solution
The issue of unreliable network for e-payment channels is one of the reasons for the introduction of the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) popularly called eNaira. eNaira has proven to be a multi dimensional solution to all the problems associated with the conventional banking and online transactions. The eNaira revolution is a massive upgrade on every other breakthrough that has been recorded in the banking industry in decades.
It has been repeatedly said that the eNaira platform is immune to the network problems that delay or frustrate transactions on other e-payment channels. Using the eNaira is therefore the best way to do easy, cheap, seamless and fast transactions.
This is one of the messages the CBN and its partners took to Kaduna earlier in the week. The Bank dispatched a team of campaigners to the nooks and crannies of Kaduna state to educate and enlighten the people on the need to start making use of the CBDC.
This is part of measures to spread the gospel of the new digital currency to all parts of the country so that Nigerians can take advantage of the platform to send and receive money without charges and without hiccups.
The CBN has also said the overrall pursuit of a cashless economy is one of the reasons it has been aggressively encouraging Nigerians to get on board the eNaira platform and get used to life without physical cash.
The apex Bank officials were in Kaduna over a two-day period in the company of its partner-agent for the state, Aymaa Global Ventures, which recruited the participants for the sensitisation events.
Addressing a group of potential agents in the Malali area of Kaduna on Wednesday on the viability of the eNaira, a Deputy Director in the CBN, Mallam Muhammad Hamisu Musa, said that one e-Naira is representing the same physical cash they are familiar with irrespective of the fact that the digital currency cannot be touched or felt like its physical counterpart.
“The other important thing you all need to know is that the Central Bank is not a profit making organisation and we are not engaged in giving loans by floating eNaira. Using eNaira does not command bank charges. It is meant to facilitate better and faster transactions and then reduce the issues we are having with physical money like armed robbery, money laundering, kidnapping, fire incidents and so on.
“And you know, with the eNaira, you can pay money exactly as you owe, to the exact amount of services or products you are purchasing, like you can pay it up to the last kobo. Whereas with physical money that we are used to, you cannot do that because people will start looking for change which is difficult to get,” he said.
Speaking in an exclusive chat with ECONOMIC CONFIDENTIAL after the
workshop, the Deputy Director said: “We are here today as part of our sensitisation programmes trying to sensitise the general public on the eNaira policy. The eNaira is out, the Central Bank has set it out to help people to now begin to use alternative means of doing transactions with cash. But this time around digital cash, not physical cash.”
He continued: “That is what eNaira is all about, it is also cash, it is only that is not the physical one that you can touch. But it has a lot of conveniences, it has a lot of advantages and that is why we need to get the public to know so that they can begin to use the eNaira.
“A lot of the participants are far more educated, more enlightened and they are in the position to go out to the field to assist the Central Bank to disseminate the information and get as many members of the public onboarded.”
The team was also at the palace of the District Head of Kawo, Kawo Market and also Central Market, all in Kaduna, on Thursday where hundreds of enthusiastic market women and leaders were in attendance.
The highlight of each of the sessions was the fact that all the participants had their eNaira wallets opened for them by the CBN and Aymaa officials.
Another highlight was the robust interaction that took place between the organisers and the participants in all the sessions. The latter thanked the visiting team for the priceless enlightenment but subjected them to rigorous question and answer session that went a long way keep everyone informed about the viability of the eNaira. Everyone left the venues happy and fulfilled.
With the way and manner the apex bank and its partners are going about these series of sensitisation programmes across the country, it is only a matter of time before the official digital currency is fully embraced by Nigerians. This country’s cashless future is therefore not in doubt.
Abdulrahman Abdulraheem is Managing Editor Economic Confidential
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