Nigeria’s central bank unveiled a domestic card program to compete with global cards like Mastercard and Visa in an effort to advance its push to transform the continent’s largest economy into a cashless society and avoid paying foreign transaction fees.
Godwin Emefiele, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), made the announcement in response to the bank’s decision to phase out older, larger value bank notes last year. Emefiele stated at the virtual launch of the “AfriGo” card program that even while card payments have become more prevalent in Nigeria over time, many people are still left out.
Emefiele stated that Nigeria was joining China, Russia, India, and Turkey in developing a domestic card program. AfriGo is controlled by the CBN and Nigerian banks. Nigeria, the nation with the most people in Africa, has more than 200 million people and the majority still use cash because they live in rural areas where there are not banks.