Recently, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been displaying the e-naira’s potential as a tool to develop the financial system primarily for the masses but experts have refuted this claim
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The statement from the experts coupled with the e-naira app’s quick removal from the Google play store seems to add to the claim that the CBN may have been too quick to launch the first African CBDC.
Though a report from the Punch Newspaper indicates that the CBN is currently working toward the release of a version of the e-naira app for the unbanked, it didn’t say when this new version will be available.
A crypto expert quoted by Crypto Asset Buyer explains that the failure of the CBN to produce a digital currency that Nigerians are accessible to means that the Central bank might not achieve its main objective of bringing financial services to the unbanked population in Nigeria.
The expert, Chiagozie Iwu, the founder of Naijacrypto and CEO of CI Crypto solutions, stated:
“Firstly, the app requires me to use my bank’s app before I can transact with it; so what service does it offer me that my bank doesn’t already offer? So it doesn’t look to me that the CBN is targeting people that do not have a bank account.”
He continues further by stating that anyone with a smartphone in possession can download the app and would have a bank account, to begin with. The fact that people have to connect their bank account defeats the goal to “bank the unbanked”
While considering the fact the Central bank promised to make the digital currency available to people without smartphones at the beginning and a month after the access is still not visible speaks volumes.
Another expert, the CEO of Convexity, Charles Okaformbah, implied that a test run app would have curbed the release of a faulty app in the first place.
“I think that if the app developers had done a lot of tests — as close testing of the application with some selected group of people outside the development team — I believe some of the issues would have been noticed and fixed,” he explained.
To cap it up, the report states that there is no trust from the CBN and that is something they have to fix.