The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Africa Fintech Foundry (AFF), an Access bank project to foster and accelerate the growth of Fintech firms in Nigeria, have partnered to help 10 businesses and broaden the use of the eNaira across the nation.
The top 10 businesses, innovators, and entrepreneurs were among the over 5,000 startups that registered for the eNaira hackathon, according to Daniel Awe, the CEO of Africa Fintech Foundry, who was speaking on the sidelines of the semi-final pitching of the competition.
He added that the government needed to implement eNaira more widely since it promotes financial inclusion, the digital economy, and betters economic activity.
The eNaira was widely criticised when it was first introduced, and many Nigerians preferred cryptocurrencies. However, according to Awe, if they look inside themselves, they will start to realise that the eNaira is going to be a successful product.
“eNaira was introduced by CBN in 2021 as a digital currency and a lot of people have asked the question, what is actually the usefulness of this eNaira?” he said.
“A lot of people have also criticised eNaira, that they prefer cryptocurrency, but the truth is that the eNaira is going to be a successful product when there are use cases where people are able to see problems it is going to be solving.”
On the other side, when discussing the eNaira Hackathon platform, he revealed that it is a location where developers, coders, entrepreneurs, and innovators would join together to solve issues and build novel concepts that utilise the eNaira.
He also revealed that the platform has been added to eNaira so that customers could now start to understand its advantages as well as the issues that it will help to resolve.
The top 10 startups in the hackathon competition will receive prizes in eNaira at the program’s conclusion.
First place will receive 5 million eNaira, second place will receive 3 million eNaira, third place will receive 2 million eNaira, and last place will receive 1 million eNaira.
Following the eNaira award, the top 10 startups will continue in the African Fintech Foundry accelerator program, where some of them will receive money to launch their businesses based on their concepts. The CBN and AFF will provide close guidance to these startups throughout this time.
According to Awe, as these startups develop successful businesses using their inventions, they will promote the adoption of the eNaira and create jobs.
The acceptance of the eNaira has, however, been accompanied by doubt and confusion, since several Nigerian people have admitted that they find it difficult to trust the Central Bank of Nigeria because it has outlawed cryptocurrency transactions in the nation.
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