Nigerian currency

Nigerian currency

The  Naira (sign: ; code:NGR) is the currency of Nigeria. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is the sole issuer of legal tender money throughout the Nigerian Federation. It controls the volume of money supply in the economy in order to ensure monetary and price stability.

The Currency & Branch Operations Department of the CBN is in charge of currency management, through the procurement, distribution/supply, processing, reissue and disposal/disintegration of bank notes and coins.

The naira was introduced on 1 January 1973, replacing the pound at a rate of 2 naira = 1 pound. This made Nigeria the last country to abandon the £sd currency system.



In 1973, coins were introduced in denominations of ½ Kobe, 1 kobo,

5 kobo, 10 kobo and 25 kobo. With the ½ and 1 kobo in bronze and the higher denomnations in cupro-nickel. The ½ kobo coins were only minted that year. In 1991, smaller 1, 10 and 25 kobo coins were issued in copper-plated-steel, along with nickel-plated-steel 50 kobo and 1 naira. On 28 February 2007, new coins were issued in denominations of 50 kobo, 1 and 2 naira.



On January 1, 1973, the Central Bank of Nigeria introduced notes for 50 kobo, 1 naira, 5 naira, 10 naira and 20 naira.


The 50 naira notes were issued in 1991, followed by 100 naira in 1999,200 naira  in 2000, 500 naira in 2001 and 1000 naira on October 12, 2005.



Polymer banknotes

On February 28, 2007, new versions of the 5 to 50 naira banknotes were introduced. Originally the 5, 10, 20 and 50 naira notes were to be polymer banknotes,  but the 5,10 and 50  naira notes were delayed to late 2009 and only the 20 naira note was released in polymer. The notes are slightly smaller (130 x 23 mm) and redesigned from the preceding issues. In mid-2009 when Sanusi Lamido Sanusi took over as CBN Governor he eventually changed the 5, 10 and 50 naira to polymer notes.



On the 1000 naira notes, there is a subtle shiny strip running down the back of the note. It is a shimmery gold colour showing 1000 naira. The triangular shape in the middle of the front of the note changes its colour from green to blue when tilted. The main feature on the front is the engraved portraits of Alhaji Aliyu Mai-Bornu and Dr Clement Isong, former governors of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

On the first prints of the 100 naira notes issued starting December 1, 1999, Zuma Rock was captioned as located in Federal Capital Territory, while actually it is situated in Niger State. Later prints removed the reference to FCT, Abuja.


The centennial 100 naira notes 

On November 12, 2014, the Central Bank of Nigeria issued a 100 naira  







commemorative note to celebrate the centennial of Nigeria’s existence. The notes are similar to its regular issue with the portrait of Chief Obafemi Awolowo on front, but is redesigned to include a new color scheme, revised security features, the text “One Nigeria, Great Promise” in microprinting and on the back is a quickresponse code (QRC) which when scanned leads users to a Nigerian website with 100 old naira to become 100 new naira notes. the two 100 naira notes are being used in Nigeria.


On each of the currency denomination, there is a face of a Nigerian except N1000 which have two faces and N50 note with four imaginary faces. Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa is on N5 note, Dr. Alvan Ikoku on N10 note, Gen. Murtala Muhammed on N20 note, Chief Obafemi Awolowo on N100 note, Alhaji Sir Ahmadu Bello on N200 note, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe on N500 note while Alhaji Aliyu Mai Bornu and Dr. Clement Isong are on N1000 note. Faces on N1000 note, the latest entry reflect North and South in line with the Federal Character Principle. For the North West, Gen. Murtala Mohammed and Alhaji Sir Ahmadu Bello are represented, North East is represented by Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa and Alhaji Aliyu Mai Bornu, South West by Chief Obafemi Awolowo, South South by Dr. Clement Isong, South East by Dr. Alvan Ikoku and Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe.



Nigeria is a middle income, mixed economy and emerging market, with expanding manufacturing, financial, service, communications, technology and entertainment sectors. It is ranked as the 21st largest economy in the world in terms of nominal GDP, and the 20th largest in terms of Purchasing Power Parity. It is the largest economy in Africa; its re-emergent manufacturing sector became the largest on the continent in 2013, and produces a large proportion of goods and services for the West African subcontinent. Also, the debt-to-GDP ratio is only 11 percent, which is 8 percent below the 2012 ratio.

Previously hindered by years of mismanagement, economic reforms of the past decade have put Nigeria back on track towards achieving its full economic potential. Nigerian GDP at purchasing power parity PPP) has almost tripled from $170 billion in 2000 to $451 billion in 2012, although estimates of the size of the informal sector (which is not included in official figures) put the actual numbers closer to $630 billion. Correspondingly, the GDP per capita doubled from $1400 per person in 2000 to an estimated $2,800 per person in 2012 (again, with the inclusion of the informal sector, it is estimated that GDP per capita hovers around $3,900 per person). (Population increased from 120 million in 2000 to 160 million in 2010). These figures are to be revised upwards by as much as 80% when metrics are recalculated subsequent to the rebasing of its economy in April 2014.

Although much has been made of its status as a major exporter of oil, oil only contributes about 9% to the GDP. Nigeria produces only about 2.7% of the world’s oil supply (In comparison, Saudi Arabia produces 12.9%, Russia produces 12.7% and the United States produces 8.6%). Although the petroleum sector is important, as Government revenues still heavily rely on this sector, it remains in fact a small part of the country’s overall vibrant and diversified economy.

The largely subsistence agricultural sector has not kept up with rapid population growth, and Nigeria, once a large net exporter of food, now imports some of its food products, though mechanization has led to a resurgence in manufacturing and exporting of food products, and the move towards food sufficiency. In 2006, Nigeria successfully convinced the Paris Club to let it buy back the bulk of its debts owed to the Paris Club for a cash payment of roughly $12 billion (USD). According to a Citigroup report published in February 2011, Nigeria will get the highest average GDP growth in the world between 2010 and 2050. Nigeria is one of the two countries from Africa among 11 Global Growth Generators countries.

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