IMF’s Assessment of eNaira Adoption: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently released a working paper titled “Nigeria’s eNaira, One Year After,” which examined the progress of the digital currency since its launch. The IMF expressed disappointment over the low public adoption of the eNaira.
Limited Usage and Slow Adoption: The report revealed that approximately 98.5 percent of eNaira wallets downloaded after the digital currency’s unveiling have remained unused. The IMF noted that the Central Bank Digital Currency project has not progressed beyond the initial phase of limited adoption, with slow uptake observed among households and merchants.
Challenges in Wallet Downloads: The working paper outlined the trajectory of retail wallet downloads, indicating an initial surge followed by a tapering off in numbers. It took 25 days for the number of downloaded wallets to reach 500,000 units, but reaching 600,000 units took another 63 days, and reaching 700,000 units required an additional 143 days. As of the end of November 2021, there were approximately 860,000 retail eNaira wallets, accounting for only 0.8 percent of Nigeria’s active bank accounts.
The IMF’s assessment highlights the challenges faced by the eNaira in gaining widespread adoption among the Nigerian public. It underscores the need for further efforts to promote and educate users about the benefits and convenience of digital currency to increase its usage and acceptance in the country.