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Ways To Make Nigerians Embrace Digital Currency

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Egungwu Chukwuka Benjamin

 

The introduction of eNaira and cNGN stable coin (crypto currency) is a great concept to aid digital trading in Nigeria, but might not aid in stabilizing the Naira.

 

Nigeria is the first country in Africa to roll out a digital currency by the central bank.

 

Recall that the central Bank oF Nigeria (CBN) launched enaira “eNaira ” (a digital currency) on 25th October, 2021, with the intention of making transaction seamless and easier.

 

On 29th December 2023, report emerged on national dailies, stating that Nigerian banks; Access bank, Sterling bank, first bank, Providus bank in collaboration with payments companies like; Budpay, Kora (formerly KoraPay), Interswitch, Blockchain consultants Convexity and Interstellar to create a stable coin cNGN.

 

This is after the federal government lifted the ban on cryptocurrency. Both medium was created to serve as a legal tender, equivalent to the physical naira (cash).

 

The introduction of cNGN coin was not to compete with eNaira but to serve as an alternative.

 

To get Nigerians to accept any of the medium of payment, it will take time and requires sensitization, mostly focused on the youths and inhabitants of urban settlements. Illiteracy might be one of the factors that will militate against the concept.

 

Let’s consider below things and policies to implement to make Nigerians embrace digital currency.

 

  • Debit Cards: The introduction of Debit card in partnership with card service providers will be a good way to make people embrace digital currency (eNaira or cNGN).

This will be like a prepaid debit card loaded with cryptocurrency to make online and in-store trading easy, especially for merchants who won’t accept transfer of cNGN coin. The card can also be used for withdrawal of funds from ATM machines.

 

  • National Youth Service: We all know the motive behind the establishment of NYSC, which is to bring unity and foster national integration.

 

Corpse members are paid monthly stipend (allowee) via commercial banks, why don’t they implement a policy giving corp members only two choice of receiving this payment ( eNaira and cNGN).

 

This will make everyone who pass through the programme to get used of this means of transaction.

 

Though some might stop using it after the programme. but there should be a way to make people embrace the medium, either by making transaction free without charges or lesser charge, and also by introducing mouthwatering interest rate for different investment packages.

 

  • Higher Institutions: The banks and parties who brought the initiative can collaborate with tertiary institution (Federal, state and private) to introduce cNGN coin or eNaira debit card to serve as school ID cards.

 

The name of the institution, name of student and other necessary information needed for student identification, engraved on the debit card.

 

This plan will capture students whose institution accepted the motion and those who’s institution didn’t buy the idea will still meet it during NYSC.

 

  • Taxation: Making eNaira and cNGN coin the only platform for payment of government tax will aid the penetration of the policy and make more people even the elites embrace the use of the platform.

 

After payment receipt will be generated on the app, a copy sent via mail with other necessary documents.

 

Transportation: The initiators of the ideas can collaborate with Ministry of Transportation and National Union Of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) to make payment of transportation for inter-state travels digital.

 

Travellers will make their payment using eNaira card, cNGN debit card or transfer.

It might not work for intra-state Transportation due to the stop and carry.

 

Some drivers don’t even have conductors and also considering how hectic intra-state transportation can be. Example in Lagos, the rush to beat traffic, passengers struggling to board a bus under the scorching sun can be stressful and will make everything disorganized.

 

The suggested steps above if implemented, will go a long way in creating awareness of digital currency, and aid it’s adoption by citizens, especially the educated and people living in the urban areas.

 

It will take years for people to trust the process, because they have to see friends or family using it and it works perfectly well.

 

 

Egungwu Chukwuka Benjamin is a freelance journalist/blogger writes in from Lagos State,

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