The Strategist

Nigeria launches its own digital currency

10/26/2021 - 06:14

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has announced the country's digital currency, the eNaira. eNaira is the first state electronic currency in the region. The coin was developed for the country's government by Barbados-based firm Bitt.

Omoeko Media
Omoeko Media
The currency was first scheduled to be introduced on October 1, but the event was postponed due to celebrations marking Nigeria's Independence Day. Authorities said the launch of eNaira would alleviate the payments industry in the country.

The Nigerian authorities are paying a lot of attention to the digital technology use. President Buhari, 78, for example, is a frequent user of Twitter. This summer, tehre was a conflict between Twitter and the Nigerian authorities as the website removed the president's tweet addressing the central government's opponents, after which the authorities blocked the social network from operating in the country.

The Nigerian government said that Twitter would be able to resume operations only after it was registered in the country, because "the service has been repeatedly used to destabilise the situation".

In late July it was reported that Twitter, which is used by about 40 million people in the country, was blocked so that in less than two months Nigeria has lost $240 million because of the decline in revenues of broadcasters and advertisers, as well as a mass outflow of users to services of VPN and other ways to bypass the blockade. The Nigerian authorities and Twitter representatives began negotiations and in early October it was reported that the blocking could "soon be lifted".