What Is eNaira Sef?

October 30, 2021

Let’s start with this tweet. 

No, sis. That’s E-Money.

Patiencce Ozokwor laughing

So, why are we talking about eNaira?

Don’t quote me on this, but this is my theory.

See, Meffy decided that he doesn’t want to ban things anymore (Xri bout dat, crypto and AbokiFX). More importantly, it’s time he launched his own “product” too. 

That’s how eNaira entered our lives this week.

If you ask Meffy and his people why they did this, they might tell you that it’s to champion financial inclusion. So that people who didn’t have access to banking services can enjoy some form of it, without dealing with some of the wahala we’re used to. You know, high transfer fees and network errors. 

This way, an 80-year-old woman in Jibia in Katsina state, who doesn’t have a bank account but has a phone, can receive money from her son, Usman, in Lagos.

Also, they swear that eNaira will make cross-border transfers easier at some point. So, if you are an Instagram vendor who imports directly from China, you won’t have a lot of problems paying for your goods. 

All of this sounds nice, doesn’t it?

But for me, I think it’s just FOMO. #IfWeCantBeatCryptoLetsDoOurOwn. Don’t mind me, I’m just a hater. 

People rushed to download the app o. In 48 hours, more than 100,000 people had downloaded it on Google Play Store. But some of them must have really hated the app because they left shit ratings and tons of complaints. That’s how Google removed the app from Play Store. But Meffy has a reason to rejoice now because the app is back up. 

Meffy 100,   Haters 0

How is this eNaira supposed to work when we already use naira?

Omo. Let me tell you what I know. The eNaira is a digital version of the naira. So, they have the same value. The only difference is how we will use them. 

For example, when small sapa hook you, you can rush to the bank and withdraw the last 2k in your bank account. Or if you are Dangote, you can withdraw millions of naira from your bank account and take home to convince yourself you’re rich. 

But with eNaira, you can’t do any of this. You know it’s there, but you can’t see it in physical form as long as it’s in your wallet. In other words, what Bubu pulled on us last year. 

Mr. President in 2020.

Also, while you keep your naira notes in your bank account, you keep your eNaira in a digital wallet. 

Does the mention of wallet remind you of anything? Yes, cryptocurrency. That thing they said you can’t use anymore a few months ago.

I understand that Meffy can deck you if you call eNaira crypto. He will tell you eNaira is backed by the central bank and legal in Nigeria and crypto is not. 

But that’s not their only difference. Let’s use the most popular cryptocurrency as an example. You know that thing Bitcoin does, where it is $50k today and $5k the following day? They call it volatility, and the eNaira won’t do that to you — which should be a good thing but the value of the eNaira is the same as the Naira. And we know the naira is shit. 

Basically, 1 eNaira = 1 Naira. 

1eNaira = Whatever the exchange rate of dollar to naira is right now.

So if eNaira is not crypto, is it glorified digital banking?

This is what the CBN on the eNaira website: 

“There are intermediaries for the typical online bank transactions, whereas, for eNaira transactions, there are no intermediaries.”

Let’s say I use Access bank and I want to transfer money to a friend who uses GTBank. Before the transaction is successful, both banks and their payment infrastructures and other third-party players will be involved.

Or if I want to buy something from a merchant online and need to use my ATM to facilitate payment, our banks and my card issuer (e.g Mastercard) will be involved, as will the web processor or switch operator etc. 

All of these middlemen get a cut of the transaction fee, which is why charges can be expensive sometimes, depending on the type or volume of the transactions. eNaira eliminates this problem. 

One more thing you should know sha: the government has said that you should use the eNaira website at your discretion and that they won’t bear the cost of any loss you incur. 

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