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eNaira App Pulled Down from Google Play Store After Bad Reviews

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By Dipo Olowookere

The eNaira application designed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and launched on Monday, October 25, 2021, in Abuja by President Muhammadu Buhari has been pulled down from Google Play Store.

On Wednesday, Business Post reported that the app, called eNaira Speed Wallet on the store for Android phone users, was getting negative reviews from Nigerians, who were disappointed with the process of registering for the app as required by the CBN.

Many users encountered problems after downloading the app from the play store. The main issue experienced was registering to create a wallet to enable them to enjoy the services.

For most users, including this reporter, the app keeps giving a message that the Bank Verification Number (BVN) provided does not have an email address attached to it and that the bank should be contacted for a solution.

As at the time this newspaper published the massive negative reviews of users on Google Play Store on Wednesday afternoon, there had been more than 100,000 downloads, while the average rating was 1.9.

But at about 8 pm or 9:20 pm on Wednesday, the app was no longer available on the play store for download as it has been pulled down. The reason for this was not immediately known and it was also not known if the app was removed briefly by Google or the developer.

Only the version of the mobile application for merchants, which is dubbed eNaira Speed Merchant Wallet, was still available for download (over 10,000 downloads already), though it was not without its own bad reviews.

One of the reviewers by the name of Stephen Tabi said, “I downloaded both applications in Google store and both proved to be difficult to register. It kept showing error bla, bla, bla. If from the take-off, hackers have already created their own app, I am afraid Nigerians will lose faith in the credibility of the project and I doubt if the safety of Nigerian transactions wallet will be guaranteed. CBN should act fast before Nigerians lose faith in the whole noble idea.”

“Why can’t we sign up? All information has been given and yet, registration is taking eternity [to be processed],” another reviewer, Adebayo Olumide Damilola, wrote.

Kolapo Nurain Olawale said, “I can’t sign up to this wallet, it shows that there is no available bank for now, what rubbish app is this?”

“I don’t understand this app, I can’t log in, it says try again later. CBN should fix the app very well before we can be using it,” a user, Maleek Shorunke said.

“Smooth download and registration but it hung at the last page where I was to submit. This stayed for over 20 minutes. At the time of typing, it’s still processing. The backend engineers need to be world-class else, there will be uncountable bugs,” DKM wrote.

Some observers have criticised the central bank for rushing to launch the eNaira. They said the bank should have taken the pain to sensitise Nigerians on the usage and benefits of the app, which is meant to be the digital version of the fiat Naira.

“The problems being encountered by users are expected because the CBN did not do due diligence before coming up with this project. It looks like a knee-jerk approach to me,” an Economist, Mr Odugbemi Gbenga, told Business Post.

“The CBN needs to go back to the drawing board and re-strategise and come up with a better project. In fact, it should not concern itself with performing as the citizens’ bank but remain as government’s bank,” Mr Odugbemi advised.

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