The much-anticipated launch of Nigeria’s Central Bank Digital Currency dubbed eNaira has been postponed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The postponement was announced in Abuja today, by Mr Osita Nwanisobi, the apex bank’s Director of Corporate Communications. Nwanisobi stated that the CBN took the decision to postpone the launch, which had been initially planned to coincide with the Independence Day anniversary, in consideration of other activities lined up to commemorate the day.
The postponement also comes in the wake of a cease and desist notification sent to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) concerning the use of the name “eNaira.” According to a document seen by Nairametrics titled: “Infringement of Trademark & Violation of Corporate Name cease and desist Notification to the Central Bank of Nigeria,” the notice was signed by Olakunle Agbebi Esq for Olakunle Agbebi & Co .
What the CBN Director of Communications said
“The CBN took the decision to postpone the launch, which had been initially planned to coincide with the Independence anniversary, in deference to the mood of national rededication to the collective dream of One Nigeria,” Nwanisobi noted in a statement.
Assuring that there is no cause for concern, he stated that the CBN and other partners are dedicated to ensuring a smooth process that benefits customers in general, particularly those in rural regions and the unbanked.
On the eNaira’s advantages, Nwanisobi stated that Nigerians will be able to send money to each other’s eNaira wallets as well as pay for goods and services at selected merchants.
He went on to say that the eNaira will limit the use of currency and ensure the Nigerian economy’s stability.
In response to questions about banks, financial institutions, and other financial ecosystem stakeholders’ readiness for the introduction of the eNaira, he reaffirmed that the digital currency is a journey and that not all bank customers will be able to transact on the day of its debut.
Meanwhile… a lawsuit looms
It’s not clear if the postponement is related to the lawsuit but we learned that a cease and desist notification has been sent to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) concerning the use of the name “eNaira.”
“For this reasons, our client has approached the Federal High Court in Suit No: FHC/AB/CS/113/2021 between ENAIRA PAYMENT SOLUTIONS LIMITED vs CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA to seek a restraining order including an order to restrain CBN from proceeding in the launch on 1st October 2021,” the Notice stated, adding that in the interim, the CBN was being warned to cease and desist from using or purporting to use the name eNaira for its product or in any other way.
The apex bank is yet to respond publicly to the lawsuit.