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Digital Currency Usage Soars in Nigeria on Cash Shortages

  • eNaira used to dispense welfare, bolstering its adoption
  • Bank notes remain in short supply as regulator rations cash
Updated on

Nigerians have increasingly turned to a once-spurned digital currency to transact, after a chaotic demonetization policy gave rise to a shortage of banknotes and bolstered demand for alternative payment methods.

The value of eNaira transactions has surged 63% to 22 billion naira ($47.7 million) this year, while about 13 million so-called e-wallets have been opened, a more than 12-fold increase from October, said Godwin Emefiele, the Central Bank of Nigeria’s governor. The amount of currency circulating in Africa’s largest economy has meanwhile dropped to about 1 trillion naira from 3.2 trillion naira in September, he told reporters in Abuja, the capital, on Tuesday.