For many months, Nigeria’s Central Bank governor Godwin Emefiele was impatient. In Lagos and Abuja, his attempt to fast-track the renewal of naira notes was met with the wrath of the judiciary, banks and politicians.
However, the former boss of Nigeria’s Zenith Bank, appointed in 2014 to oversee the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has continued to press ahead with another flagship project: the e-naira. Launched in October 2021, the continent’s first – and so far, only – central bank digital currency (the MNBC) has convinced nearly 1 million users.
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