How a CBDC Created Chaos and Poverty in Nigeria

It is no coincidence that Nigeria, with a population of over two hundred million, became the first serious global testing ground for central bank digital currencies (CBDC) implementation. Not only is it the wealthiest country on the continent where the globalists are making plans, but Nigeria also possesses significant hydrocarbon and metals reserves and talented citizens. For these reasons, it can serve as a relatively good example for the rest of the poorest continents.

Geopolitical considerations are not insignificant. The Davos globalists, who have been present in Nigeria for some time, feel that if they do not take care of Nigeria, the Russians, present there since the Soviet era, will do it. Political interests in Nigeria are also being sought after by the Chinese, who have been building railways, roads, airports, and mining companies in Nigeria while simultaneously cultivating good relationships with tribal and political leaders.

A Calendar

Here is the timeline of the establishment of eNaira, the Nigerian CBDC. Although the attempt to digitize the Nigerian currency ended in failure, it carries a lesson for the rest of the world.

On October 25, 2022, one year after the national referendum on the establishment of CBDC in Nigeria, in which 99.5 percent of the citizens voted against digitalizing the currency, the then president of the country, Muhammadu Buhari from the Fulani tribe, issued a decree that despite the opposition of the majority of the nation, the financial revolution would still take place.

In December 2022, the government in Abuja launched a total attack on cash. The situation resembled events from 2016 in India when the government demonetized the highest denomination banknotes. The governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced that by the end of January 2023 (later extended to February 10), Nigeria would fully transition from physical cash (naira) to eNaira, the central bank’s digital currency. People were required to transfer their cash holdings to the CBN, which would service them under the new monetary regime. The executive order was carried out by the then governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele from the Ibo tribe, a general and the only Christian in the country’s Islamic ruling elite. Well-informed sources claim that the guidelines, both in know-how and digitalization supervision, were provided by circles close to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Economic Forum (WEF), and even the Bureau of Industry and Security.

When February 10, 2023, arrived and about 80 percent of the $7.2 billion, previously in private hands, ended up in digital accounts as CBDC, the poorer segment of the population (over half of the people) still did not have bank accounts. Despite assurances from the CBN that physical cash would not be eliminated until CBDC was fully operational, half of the nation was left with old, worthless banknotes! Commuters to and from the capital were left without cash to pay for their return transportation. Many small businesses, a significant part of the economy that relies on cash payments, closed because their customers had no money to pay.

It is easy to understand why violent riots erupted in the country on February 16, 2023, resulting in casualties. Deprived of their entire wealth, desperate and hungry people took to the streets, demanding the reinstatement of the validity of the old paper currency. Rumors circulated that the Buhari government had issued a new paper currency, “new naira,” to be used temporarily.

By the end of January 2023, transactions using eNaira operated smoothly but were limited to representatives of the middle class—totaling about thirty-five to forty million people in Nigeria. The vast majority of Nigerians who used cash in their daily lives ran around fruitlessly searching to exchange their old money for anything they could eat. The rumor that Buhari’s government issued new currency was confirmed in the last days of January 2023.

The problem was that the new cash was nowhere to be found. Even today, when the central bank has withdrawn from the experiment, the supply of the new cash did not even reach 10 percent of the entire Nigerian currency supply. There is no new money anywhere; even if it were, there is no possibility of mass exchanging the old, invalidated naira for the new. Despite the events of February 16, the government acknowledged that the “newly issued currency is intended to meet the demands of the protesters and restore their purchasing power.”

Even the brightest Nigerians were unable to understand how the government planned to eliminate existing cash and issue new money just a few weeks before the general elections scheduled for February 24, 2023. Didn’t the government risk an obvious defeat amidst the chaos? Well, no! The new cash was the guarantee of electoral victory: it was intended to be distributed to the poor but significant majority, so they would know who to vote for democratically.

As predicted, the new president of Nigeria is a representative of the ruling party, the same one responsible for the chaos. It’s important to note that we’re talking about a country that was already struggling with a currency crisis, soaring inflation, and fuel shortages (despite being Africa’s largest oil producer), where a severe lack of money and never-ending queues at ATMs have been prevalent for years. Even dollars were scarce despite black-market premiums.

End of the Experiment

The situation of uncertainty and danger persisted for three and a half months until the inauguration of the new president, Bola Ahmed Tinubu from the Yoruba tribe, a former civilian governor of Lagos state. On May 29, 2023, approximately 108 days after the actual cash elimination, President Tinubu restored the validity of the old currency, alongside with the new naira and eNaira.

What led Tinubu to make such a gesture? Was he forced to do so by overseers of the experiment from the IMF, the Fed, or the WEF? If so, why did it take them three and a half months to condemn a hundred million people to starvation?

Political observers in Abuja believe that no one intervened. President Bola Tinubu put an end to the experiment and stuck to his position. Once he invalidated the CBDC, he ordered an investigation into the CBN, resulting in the unprecedented detention of the former CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, on June 10, 2023. In late July the court released him from custody, but the security service rearrested him and is holding him in custody. The investigation is ongoing. Influential protectors from the IMF, the Fed, and even the White House, which singled out Nigeria as the global debutant of currency digitalization, remain silent.

From the perspective of the start of the monetary experiment in Nigeria, it appears that the government in Abuja had neither the appetite nor a clear plan for this digitalization. The advisors from the World Economic Forum, the IMF, or perhaps even the Bureau of Industry and Security lacked a plan too, despite their strong adherence to digitalization strategies. Why didn’t these overseers react and halt the digitalization? Was there another purpose for it? Depriving one hundred million people of their means to live for three and a half months borders on an act of genocide.


Yet, a tragedy did not occur. How did poor Nigerians survive for three and a half months without money, reserves, or any help from the state? Nigerians, unlike most residents of the Group of Seven countries, don’t believe a word their government representatives say. Feeling deceived once again, when it became clear that neither the old nor the new naira worked, people took to the streets. Shots were fired, and a few people died.

In response to refusals to accept their old cash, invalidated at the end of January, people without bank accounts, legal cash, or any savings resorted to traditional methods: barter and trade credit. Matchstick holders exchanged them for yams with farmers. Soap producers traded for fuel, and small business owners extended longer credit terms to their contractors. Teachers and cleaners from local schools sought help, mainly food, from the families of their students.

Nigerians’ natural lack of faith in statism, something wealthy citizens of Germany or Canada might consider imprudent, prevented a similar outcome as that of the Canadian Freedom Convoy. It is, after all, due to their country’s monetary policy that German retirees are experiencing difficulties.

According to Nigerians, a weak, small state might not help them, but at least the value-added tax in Nigeria is at most 5 percent and tax collection does not exceed 25 percent. Healthcare may be deficient, but people have more trust in their shamans than the bored and Big Pharma–corrupted doctors. Speeding fines are rare due to a lack of police officers, but there is no labor inspection and no one forces anyone to take an experimental vaccine.

Tribal groups, rural authorities, and neighbors provided assistance. Families, which in African life are the ultimate support, helped. Self-help was the basis of survival for the Nigerians deprived of any assistance. I’m writing this because soon much more statist nations will undergo similar currency digitalization.


The situation in Lagos, Abuja, and Port Harcourt is returning to normal, and eNaira is one of several legal currencies. After the US dollar exchange rate was freed, black-market prices fell to the official level. The Nigerian Exchange Group, expressed in US dollars, has risen by 37 percent so far in 2023. Naira inflation is declining faster than inflation in the US. Since Emefiele’s arrest, the specter of a CBDC monopoly has disappeared. Those who find electronic money more convenient use it. When that convenience is lost, they will switch to cash or its digital alternative. People now know that there wouldn’t have been such chaos if the currency digitalization was voluntary and not accompanied by cash delegalization.

Will Nigeria’s case help other global central bankers and citizens arrive at a similar conclusion? Probably not, so we await the next economic disaster.

CBDCs: The Ultimate Tool of Financial Intrusion

“Experts” at the Federal Reserve and other central banks proudly broadcast the potential “financial inclusion” that could be achieved with a central bank digital currency (CBDC). In the Fed’s main CBDC paper, “Money and Payments: The U.S. Dollar in the Age of Digital Transformation,” they make it clear: “Promoting financial inclusion—particularly for economically vulnerable households and communities—is a high priority for the Federal Reserve . . . a CBDC could reduce common barriers to financial inclusion.”

The term has a ring to it that signals support for progressive goals. “Inclusion” is part of the Orwellian trio of terms “diversity, inclusion, and equity,” which, as Dr. Michael Rectenwald writes, means “surveillance, punishment of the ‘privileged,’ sacrifice of national citizens to global interests, and the labeling as ‘dangerous’ and marking for (virtual) elimination those supposed members or leaders of ‘hate groups’ who oppose such measures.” The central banks’ use of “financial inclusion” involves the same reversal of meanings.

Financial Inclusion and Unbanked Households

Consider that a retail CBDC would be like having a bank account with the Federal Reserve, even if it is intermediated by another bank. There is a lot of guesswork about how a CBDC will be implemented, but some say that it will not just be like having a bank account with the Fed, but that it could be exactly that.

Either way, if a CBDC were genuinely aimed at financial inclusion, it would offer something to those who have chosen to forgo a bank account entirely. This “unbanked” population constitutes about 5.4 percent of US households according to a 2021 Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) survey. The survey asked each household why they do not have a bank account, and the responses indicate that minimum balance requirements, privacy, trust, and fees are the most significant factors.

Figure 1: Unbanked households’ reasons for not having a bank account, 2021 (percent)

Source: FDIC, 2021 FDIC National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households (FDIC, 2022), fig. ES.3.

The critical question, then, is this: what does a CBDC offer these households that physical cash and other nonbank financial services (e.g., check cashing, money orders, prepaid cards) do not?

Privacy (or Lack Thereof)

A CBDC undermines privacy. Whatever a central bank might say about privacy protection with a CBDC can be safely dismissed. The Fed paper, for example, says, “Protecting consumer privacy is critical. Any CBDC would need to strike an appropriate balance, however, between safeguarding the privacy rights of consumers and affording the transparency necessary to deter criminal activity.” We should not conflate the characteristics of a CBDC with those of cryptocurrencies in general, which offer anonymity and pseudonymity to their users.

Consider how the IRS recently pried open PayPal, Venmo, and Cash App accounts with transactions over $600. Consider also that the Supreme Court just ruled that the IRS can investigate your bank accounts without notification in some circumstances, including if you are a friend, family member, or associate of someone who owes the IRS.

Beyond taxes, banks also willingly hand over personal information (even without a warrant or formal request) to the FBI. This data, which includes previous firearm purchases, belongs to people who show up at the wrong protest or who were merely in the vicinity as the data is collected based on transactions within a specific geographic area.

The lack of privacy with bank accounts certainly contributes to the distrust people have for banks, as noted in the survey. This shows that “financial inclusion” is a mere buzzword as there is nothing about a CBDC that would gain the trust of unbanked households, who are not excluded from the banking system but actively avoid it.

Fees and Negative Interest Rates

According to the survey, fees are another commonly cited reason for being unbanked. People avoid banks because the fees are steep and unpredictable.

Although there is no certainty regarding how a CBDC would operate, many see that it could finally offer the holy grail of monetary policy: the ability to impose negative interest rates. In effect, this would be a fee for holding a CBDC.

After the 2008 crash, the Fed reached the “zero lower bound” for nominal interest rates. They were unable to stimulate more spending through their interest rate targeting approach. While there were a few outlandish ideas about imposing a negative interest rate on cash, like the idea of Greg Mankiw’s student to remove the legal tender status of all currency with a serial number ending in a randomly selected digit, it is just too difficult to impose a fee on the cash in your wallet or safe.

With a digital currency, it becomes effortless, especially if the use of physical cash is significantly diminished or even eliminated altogether. The monetary policy authorities would simply press a button and deduct a certain amount of CBDC from everyone’s accounts. Think of the spending they would encourage if everybody knew their unspent money would be subject to such a penalty!


The “financial inclusion” rhetoric in central bank papers and speeches on CBDCs is laughable. Presently, people avoid banks because they distrust banks, value privacy, and despise fees. A CBDC wouldn’t help with any of these concerns. Instead of promoting inclusion, a CBDC would become the ultimate tool for financial intrusion and control.

The tyrannical potential is not a secret, even for the army of technocrats pushing for CBDCs. At a recent World Economic Forum event in China, Eswar Prasad matter-of-factly brandished the inevitable weaponization of CBDCs:

And one final note that I’ll make is that if you think about the benefits of digital money, there are huge potential gains. It’s not just about digital forms of physical currency—you can have programmability, units of central bank currency with expiry dates. You could have, as I argue in my book, a potentially better, or some people might say, darker world, where the government decides that units of central bank money can be used to purchase some things, but not other things that it deems less desirable, like, say, ammunition or drugs or pornography or something of the sort. And that is very powerful in terms of the use of a CBDC.

Of course, any moral qualms we have regarding the items he listed are irrelevant. It is clear that the state will use CBDCs to push us toward anything the state favors and away from anything the state doesn’t. Programmable money means programmable citizens.

The Woke Cartel and Twitter’s New CEO

On May 12, 2023, Elon Musk announced that Linda Yaccarino, the now former chairman of global advertising and partnerships at NBCUniversal, would become the new CEO of Twitter. Musk’s appointment of Yaccarino followed an advertiser exodus that caused Twitter’s ad revenue to plummet by more than 60 percent from October 2022 through January 25, 2022, from around $127 million to just over $48 million. According to Pathmatics, by Sensor Tower, more than half of Twitter’s thousand advertisers pulled their ads from Twitter after Musk’s takeover of the social media company.

The flight of advertisers was due to concerns about Twitter’s content moderation and Musk’s so-called free-speech advocacy. In short, Musk’s supposed free-speech absolutism and his subsequent renunciation of the Democratic Party as “the party of division and hate” put Musk and Twitter squarely in the crosshairs of the establishment and its woke cartel. Yaccarino’s appointment represents Musk’s attempt to appease this seemingly all-powerful contingent. But the Yaccarino hire has no doubt damaged Musk’s reputation as a free speech advocate and dashed many hopes for Twitter as an open forum.

Soon after Musk’s announcement, a firestorm erupted on Twitter. Numerous posters claimed that Yaccarino was the executive chairman of the World Economic Forum (WEF), a globalist organization that has strongly advocated social media censorship to exclude “misinformation,” “disinformation,” and “conspiracy theories.” Through its partnerships with the United Nations and over a thousand leading banks and corporations, the WEF has promoted its Great Reset project to advance “stakeholder capitalism” and “global governance.”.

Of course, Yaccarino is not the executive chairman of the WEF itself—that would be Klaus Schwab, who is the founder and chair—although her LinkedIn profile seems to suggest as much and is the source of the Twitter and alternative media confusion. But as noted by Reuters, Yaccarino is the chairman of the WEF’s Taskforce on the Future of Work and sits on the WEF’s Media, Entertainment and Culture Industry Governors Steering Committee. She declares that she is a “Global Leader” on her LinkedIn profile; however, it is unclear whether she is an alumnus of the WEF’s Young Global Leaders Forum, a training program that Schwab has claimed exerts enormous influence on leading political figures around the world.

Nevertheless, Yaccarino’s affiliation with the WEF should be a cause for concern for those Twitter users who advocate free speech on the platform, as should her statements during an interview with Musk that Twitter advertisers should have a say about Twitter content moderation. In response to Yaccarino’s questioning, Musk stated that Twitter has implemented “adjacency controls” that let marketers block ads from appearing next to “anything that is remotely negative.” That is, posts that include “anything remotely negative” are already subject to visibility filters that limit their reach to reduce their adjacency to ads. That means that Twitter limits the reach of posts that criticize governments, leading politicians, the Federal Reserve, or the globalist organizations with which Yaccarino is associated, for example.

Yaccarino is an establishment-approved figure and is very well respected in woke advertising circles, which is largely why Musk hired her. During her tenure at NBCUniversal, she also served as the chairman of the board of the Ad Council from 2021 to 2022, and she remains on the board of directors to this day. The Ad Council was a driving force in promoting masking, social distancing, and vaccinations throughout the covid crisis. Under Yaccarino’s direction, the Ad Council teamed up with the JED Foundation to produce its “Alone Together” public service announcement (PSA) campaign, which suggested that viewers stay home “alone” to save lives “together.” The PSA was picked up by numerous media outlets and other organizations.

Yaccarino’s WEF and Ad Council affiliations, and her advocacy of advertiser regulation of speech, have led some Twitter users and media outlets to declare that she is a globalist, a vaccine pusher, and another high-profile promoter of censorship. Indeed, it does appear that Musk has caved to the woke cartel and its state, corporate, and international governance enforcers.

Neither Red nor Blue, but Free

The human tendency to kill what one fears asserted itself on April 4, 2023, as a Manhattan district attorney called Donald Trump into his office to issue a vague threat.

What crime Trump was being charged with is known only to Alvin Bragg, but the rest of the world is left playing a guessing game.

Trump supporters are rallying everyone with a heartbeat to support their candidate. It’s survival time. Even a few Trump haters are finding a way to support Trump. Not that they want him back in the White House, perish the thought, but the Bragg travesty is more than even they can stand.

If Trump doesn’t win in 2024, the crumbling edifice that was once this country will come to rival the sack of Rome. Policies will amount to anything and everything that will wipe out the economy. Joe Biden or some other surrogate will continue his attacks on the country he was hired to defend.

Even if Trump is nominated and is heavily favored against a woke World Economic Forum (WEF) democrat, there’s the so far unsolved problem of how to get an honest vote count. Did the recently elected Brandon Johnson for Chicago’s mayor actually receive more votes than Paul Vallas as an expression of Chicagoans preference for high crime rates? Much of the suffering in the last three years has been on the back of a broken democracy.

Suppose Trump wins and serves as the forty-seventh president. Trump will be persecuted to his grave and so will any follow-up frontpiece that doesn’t embrace the woke WEF agenda.

For those who find deliverance in wokeness and bugs for breakfast, have at it. There are many who want no part of it.

The incendiary Marjorie Taylor Greene has suggested a national divorce wherein red states would separate from the blue states, although Steve Bannon absolutely rejects it. Journalist Jason Whitlock wants some kind of separation, whether through a national divorce or secession.

The Challenges of Separation

With separation comes issues. Let’s look at a few of them.

Would the Federal Reserve, the government’s money printing agency, go red or blue, and how will it be decided? Would the red states eliminate the central bank and rely on a market-chosen money such as gold or silver—or bitcoin? How many Trump patriots understand what the Fed does and its role in our economic decline? Are most of them Ron Paul supporters in his drive to end the Fed? When they sing the National Anthem, are they including the Fed and the Internal Revenue Service, the two major bloodsuckers of the middle class? How free do they feel when they hit the part about the land of the free, knowing their government can push them around any way it wants if “national security” or some other excuse is invoked?

How many Americans understand the essential nature of the government that lords over them? Will red states create a kinder, gentler government with fewer regulations and taxes? How will red states defend themselves against foreign aggressors (including against blue states)? Will both continue on the offense as the government has since the CIA emerged from Harry Truman’s pen in 1947?

Would red states be able to keep out blue-state citizens, such as the agitators who infiltrated the January 6 protest? Could the red states do it without violations of personal liberty?

Would foreign rivals such as China, Russia, or North Korea assist the blue states in obliterating the red states?

Would the red states eliminate the blue states with a false flag?

Members of both red and blue states have embraced the idea of a coercive form of government that the United States Constitution was meant to mitigate. However, it didn’t work. In 1867, Lysander Spooner detailed many of the Constitution’s shortcomings in his essay The Constitution of No Authority concluding that “whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain—that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist” (emphasis mine).

He wrote this over 150 years ago, before the Fed, before the income tax, before the world wars the government was eager to join and the smaller wars of choice that continue to this day, and now with the looming prospect of nuclear Armageddon.

A Stateless Government

The idea that coercive governments represent a contradiction in theory has been developed in such works as Robert P. Murphy’s article, “But Wouldn’t Warlords Take Over?,” videos of Hans-Hermann Hoppe presenting his thesis, “State or Private Law Society?,” and Murray Rothbard’s Power and Market: Government and the Economy. There are many more. My own book, Do Not Consent, argues that the government we need is the government that’s right in front of our face.

Finding something other than the gang of bandits running our lives will forever be only a dream if we don’t have a radical cultural change. The late Gary North said it best when he wrote in 2015:

We need to know what we have lost. We need to know why we have lost it. Only then will it become clear that there must be a restoration of liberty. This means a restoration of personal responsibility on a scale that is almost unimaginable today. It is going to come, but only after the great default has at last bankrupted the federal government. (emphasis mine)

When the government goes belly-up, it will be as close to a state of nature as we will ever experience. It will be a time to start fresh without the mistakes of the past—by freeing the free market from state coercion.