• Nigeria’s e-Naira rollout has been plagued by glitches; will users adopt or abandon it?

  • Following its launch, the Nigerian central bank digital currency [CBDC] e-Naira has been plagued by a slew of problems. Within 24 hours of its launch, the digital currency and platform had 200,000 wallets sign up. However, users discovered numerous flaws in the system. Could this cause users to abandon it?

    The e-Digital Naira’s Difficulties

    Despite the popularity and hype surrounding e-Naira, users discovered flaws in the speed wallet. According to reports, the e-Naira speed wallet vanished from the Android Play Store after thousands of downloads within 48 hours of its release. This could be because of the number of complaints about the wallet on the Play Store.

    Despite the fact that some issues were raised by early users, no action has been taken by officials as of yet. Instead, the Central Bank of Nigeria [CBN] spokesperson, Osita Nwanisobi, stated that the application was removed from the Google platform to facilitate its upgrade.

    Furthermore, users’ concerns about using the CBDC grew as the CBN released all liability for any interruption, loss of revenue, or loss of services on the e-Naira platform.

    It was stated,

    “In no event will the Central Bank of Nigeria, its directors, officers, employees, independent contractors, affiliates, or agents, or any of its or their respective service providers, be liable to you or any third party for any use, interruption, delay, or inability to use the eNaira website…”

    The CBN went on to list all of the aspects for which it refused to accept responsibility in its statement, including “lost revenue or profits, delays, interruption or loss of services, business or goodwill, loss or corruption of data, loss resulting from system or system service failure, malfunction, or shutdown, failure to accurately transfer, read, or transmit information, failure to update or provide correct information, system incompatibility or provision of incorrect information.”

    The users, as expected, did not take this statement lightly and were outraged by the abdication of all responsibility.

    Is there no accountability?

    Praise Gbemisola, CEO of Jade Stores, thought this was an unusual move by the apex bank. He mentioned,

    “So, if my money is stolen while using the platform, I can’t hold the CBN accountable?” So, what’s the enticement for me to embrace the platform? “This is odd.”

    Adopt or Abandon e-Naira?

    The cryptocurrency craze demonstrated that initial hype can drive adoption, but the only way to sustain was through growth. Given the current lack of crypto education and infrastructure, it may be too soon to write off e-Naira.

    However, it may be necessary to work on resolving security and vulnerability issues before users lose their money, for which CBN declines to accept responsibility.

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