Last updated on August 5th, 2023 at 09:19 pm
In September, we all looked forward to the launching of eNaira, Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) by Nigeria’s apex, but a few hours to the D-day, the CBN rescinded his decision about the launch.
While everyone was eager about how the eNaira would help their businesses, the CBN didn’t give a reason for the postponement.
The website enaira.com has been running since September 28, 2021, millions of Nigerians who flooded Google Playstore and Apple Store were disappointed that the eNaira App the fiat Nigerian currency version was nowhere to be found.
The postponement was not new to many Nigerians, they blamed it on poor planning and many battles the project is facing behind the scene.
Below are some of the inaccuracies about eNaira project:
- Appointment of Foreign Contractor
- Use of .com instead of .ng domain
- Position on Blockchain
- Trademark infringement
- Poor Planning
Appointment of Foreign Contractor
With more than a dozen blockchain developers in Nigeria and across Africa, it’s unpatriotic for the Godwin Emefiele and his team to have gone as far as Barbados to appoint Bitt Inc to develop a digital currency for Nigerian use.
The excuse that the bidding process was made open is an attestation to the usual questionable ways on how government employs sons and daughters of the powerful class into federal ministries and agencies and then publish newspaper publications when the vacancies had been filled.
This isn’t only faulty, it also shows the insincerity of the apex bank at stabilising the foreign exchange market, because the CBN would have to pay for such services with millions of US dollars or other foreign currency the developer Bitt may have chosen.
Importing foreign services from abroad when such services can be sourced locally also means the committee that approved Bitt for the project have trust issue about Nigerian developers who are known around the world.
Use of .com instead of .ng domain
Those who know the implications of choosing a dot com would ask: Why not dot ng? From the domain name, it’s obvious that the CBN doesn’t care about preserving and using what belongs to Nigeria and to the Nigerian people.
Besides, what stops CBN from using domain extensions exclusively assigned to the government and its ministries? .gov.ng domain should have been the top choice for the Emefiele-led apex bank.
There is no way a criminal could register a domain under the gov.ng, enaira.com is going to expose millions of Nigerians to several cloned websites in the days ahead, the President of the Nigerian Internet Registration Association (NIRA) Muhammed Rudman was quoted as saying in Sunday Punch Column.
Position on Blockchain
The announcement by the CBN to use blockchain-backed digital currency calls to question why it banned funding of cryptocurrency-related transactions on in February 2021.
Although it says it was to enable it to monitor transactions, the move hasn’t stopped crypto enthusiasts from Nigerians as they now use Peer-To-Peer Exchange platforms, even more before the ban.
Certainly, it has been established that terrorists receive funding through bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, but Nigerian authority has not shown enough commitment to exposing the financiers of the dreaded terrorist group Boko Haram in Nigeria while in the faraway United Arab Emirate, sponsors of Boko Haram were jailed.
On September 30, a few hours to Nigeria’s 61st Independence, a day scheduled for the launch, CBN’s spokesman, Mr. Osita Nwanisobi, “the planned unveiling on October 1, 2021 has now been deferred due to other key activities lined up to commemorate the country’s 61st Independence Anniversary”
A follower of enaira on Facebook Ifedolapo Akindahunsi, asked:
“Didn’t you know October 1st is independence day before you announce it as the launch date?
But those who have been following events knew that it was due to “Infringement of Trademark & Violation of Corporate Name” filed by ENaira Payment Solutions Limited against the CBN.
“For this reason, our client has approached the Federal High Court In Suit No. FHC/AB/CS/113/2021 between ENaira Payment Solutions Limited v Central Bank of Nigeria to seek restraining orders including an order to restrain the CBN from proceeding with the proposed launching on the 1st of October. 2021,” Olakunle Agbebi, lawyer to ENaira Payment Solutions Limited said.
The litigation against the CBN shows that its team failed to do a name search to know if there were existing names. If it did, ENaira Payment Solutions Limited wouldn’t have had any case against the apex bank. Though a court in Nigeria has given the CBN a nod to launch the project.
Against all odds, we hope that the CBN resolves the issues on its table regarding the launch of its digital currency.