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How Nigerian Cash Shortage Spurs 63% Increase in Digital Currency Adoption”

Nigeria has experienced a cash shortage, leading to the surge in popularity of eNaria, the country’s digital currency. The head of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) reported a 63% increase in eNaria transactions to 22 billion naira ($47.7 million), and 13 million e-wallets have been opened by Nigerians, representing a 12-fold increase in the last five months.

The amount of currency in circulation in Nigeria has decreased from 3.2 trillion naira to 1 trillion naira, as many people withdrew cash from ATMs, resulting in reports of long lines and empty ATMs. However, the eNaria has become the electronic payment channel of choice for financial inclusion and executing social interventions, according to Governor Godwin Emefiele of the CBN.

The adoption of eNaria has increased due to the government’s use of the currency to pay poorer citizens for government aid, leading to four million new e-wallets. Emefiele has encouraged the promotion of eNaria until it is widely accepted, and the CBN has carried out a sensitization program through all parts of the country.

Despite some challenges, Nigeria is further ahead in the implementation of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) compared to other countries, such as the United States, where the idea of a digital currency is still theoretical. Recently, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis called for a ban on CBDCs, accusing the Biden administration of attempting to control and surveil citizens. The Biden administration has been studying the use of CBDCs, and officials have stated that it is a high priority.

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