Public Perception of Nigeria Electronic Naira (E-naira). A Study of Kano Metropolis.
1.1 Background of the study
Without a doubt, the global financial system is embracing the current technological transformation from physical currency to practically virtual currencies. In recent years, rapid technological innovation and new business models have led in a slew of novel retail payment methods. These developments point to substantial changes in the retail payment environment, including a decrease in cash usage. As a result of this tidal wave, digital money innovation arose.
According to Gilbert, Scott, and Loi, Hio. (2018), digital currencies have properties similar to traditional currencies but, unlike printed banknotes or minted coins, do not often have a physical form. The lack of a physical form allows for near-instantaneous online transactions and removes the costs of sending cash and coins. As a consequence, as long since both parties recognise the currency’s legality, digital currencies will continue to be useful for inter-party transactions, as they provide the benefit of speedy settlement, particularly in online communities. Although cryptocurrency is the most popular form of digital currency, there are thousands of them in the modern world, each of which operates and enjoys security thanks to the mutually adopted encryption codes by the parties in such transactions, especially since most governments around the world have shied away from conferring any form of endorsement or legitimacy on transactions conducted through such channels.
Taking advantage of this rapid technological progress and financial market development, has led world economies into transiting from paper currency to digital currency of which Nigeria is not not left behind. Abdulkareem M. (2021) explored that central banks globally have been working delicately on their digital currency by gradually weaning themselves off rapidly-declining cash payments, and this is the reason the Central Bank of Nigeria joined the fray so that Nigeria is not left in the lurch which gave rise to the launch of her e-Naira which is coming after instructing banks to close cryptocurrency and ban crypto-related accounts in February 2021 (premiumtimesng.com). However, the implications for payment system efficiency are still to be determined and the potential risks that may arise from the operation of these schemes. Thus, should digital currencies become widely used for large-value transactions or for other asset types beyond funds transfers, their impact on other areas of responsibility for central banks, such as payment system oversight and regulation, financial stability and monetary policy, and associated tendencies of fraud and money laundering, might become more prominent, posing a relatively high risk for public users.
Following the planned launch of the e-Naira guidelines, a sequel to this stipulation has arose, generating significant public interest.Of primary interest to the Nigerian public is the prospect of effective implementation of the guidelines in a manner that will impact the public interest most profitably without avoidable risks. Furthermore, considering that transactions in this mode run without any physical exchange of funds but through computers that still remain mysterious to most Nigerians, the level of exposure to digitally non-compliant people remains significant.
1.2 Statement of the problem
Prior to the emergence of electronic naira, Nigeria paper naira has experienced significant foreign exchange crisis and the pace of depreciation of the naira has aroused serious concern among residents which compelled the need to attempt an alternate legal tender. Additionally is the restriction of cryptocurrencies as advised by CBN in the year therefore the necessity to grow the country currency from paper to electronic. Kalu (2021) asserts that Central Bank of Nigeria issued its own digital currency on the basis of lowering the cost of managing paper currency, leveraging new emerging digital technologies, improving the digital readiness landscape, maturing identification registries, and driving financial inclusion. While the benefits of digital money in permitting rapid transactions are noteworthy, the exercise’s bad effects cannot be underestimated.
Adolphus (2021) remarked that at the time, the country’s financial sector is manifesting major challenges owing to weak administration, which have continued. Hence, the implementation of the e-Naira should not be permitted to aggravate the issues in the sector. Therefore, the obligation to guarantee that all operators of the project have a verifiable track record and a degree of integrity that the public can depend on is crucial. Closely tied to the concerns is the confusing condition of effective execution of the suggestions, whose lack of public education and enlightenment in respect of the seamless transition of more Nigerians to digital transactions has been murky.
According to Daily Trust journal (2021), the editor underlined that the general people are starting to worry about the security of this new digital money and the extent of its vulnerability to hackers and fraudsters. This is because in Nigeria, there is a high rate of illegal activities perpetuated by fraudsters through online transactions, illicit money transfers, clearing of accounts, western wire, and hacking into individual accounts. Hence, this has sent a bad signal to the public at the debut of the e-naira, making them have worries on the safety their wallet should they bank with CBN and what the consequences of the digital money hold for them as users. Therefore, it is vital to assess this circumstance thoroughly. Therefore, it is against this backdrop that this study aims to assess the public perception of Nigerians on electronic Naira (e-naira) using Kano State as a case study.
1.3 Objective of the study
The broad objective of this study is to examine public perception of Nigerian on electronic Naira (e-naira) using Kano State as case study. Specifically, the study seeks to:
- Investigate if the launching of e-naira will enhance public users’ ease in performing financial transaction.
- Determine the public perceptions on the challenges of using e-naira.
- Ascertain the benefit of e-naira launching in Nigeria.
1.4 Research question
The research will be guided by the following question:
- Would launching of e-naira enhance public users’ ease in performing financial transaction?
- Would there be any challenges encountered by the public while using e-naira platform?
- What are the benefit e-naira launching would offer to Nigeria individuals and business?
- Would there be need for educating the public further on this new development ?
1.5 Significance of the study
Findings from the study will be relevant to economic developers, policy maker, government and public users. To government,policy makers and economic developers, , the result of the study will enlighten them on the need to throw more on this new development in other help the general public gain clarity about e-naiara and furthermore clear their doubts and fears on its usage. To other sectors of the economy who this new development would affect their operations, the result of the study will enable them to brace up to the challenges that will accompany the launch of e-Naira and find a way to downplay it in other to remain relevant in the changing business environment. Finally findings from the study will add to the existing body of literature and serve as reference tool for both scholars and student who wishes to conduct further studies in related field.
1.6 Scope of the study
The scope of this study border on an examination of public perception on e.Naira. The study will further determine if their are percieved challenges e-Naira users will face while using the platform. The study is however delimited to Kano Metropolis of Kano State in Nigeria.
1.7 Limitation of the study
Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. The significant constraint was the scanty literature on the subject owing that it is a new discourse thus the researcher incurred more financial expenses and much time was required in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. Additionally, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. However in spite of the constraint all these constraint were downplayed to give the best.
1.8 Definition of terms
Digital Currency: Digital currencies are monies that exist not in physical form but only as electronic data, but perform the basic functions of money being unit of account, store of value and means of exchange.
eNaira: eNaira is the name given to the CBN’s first proposed digital currency. eNaira is a central bank digital currency (CBDC) issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria as a legal tender. It is the digital form of the Naira and will be used just like cash.
Abdulkareem M. (2021) Businesses in Nigeria must accept e-Naira – CBN retrived from https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/more-news/486095-businesses-in-nigeria-must-accept-e-naira-cbn.html
Adolphus Areban Aletor (2021) Nigeria’s e-Naira: An analyst’s perspective retrieved from https://guardian.ng/opinion/nigerias-e-naira-an-analysts-perspective/
Daily Trust (2021) Educate Nigerians On E-Naira, retrieved from https://dailytrust.com/educate-nigerians-on-e-naira
Ezuwore- O., Eyisi A., Emengini S., & Alio F.(2014) A Critical Analysis of Cashless Banking Policy in Nigeria. IOSR Journal of Business and Management (IOSR-JBM) e-ISSN: 2278-487X, p-ISSN: 2319-7668. Volume 16, Issue 5. Ver. V (May. 2014), PP 30-42www.iosrjournals.org
Gilbert, Scott & Loi, Hio. (2018). Digital Currency Risk. International Journal of Economics and Finance. 10. 108. 10.5539/ijef.v10n2p108.
Kalu Aja (2021) All you need to know about the e-Naira set to be launched on October 1 retrived from https://nairametrics.com
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