5 Things You Need To Know About The History of Money In Nigeria
The Naira is Nigeria’s official currency, but did you know that Nigerians didn’t start using Naira until 13 years after independence?
Here are five things you probably didn’t know about the History of Money in Nigeria.
1. Nigerians haven’t always had money
Nigerians traded differently before the colonial era. Value was exchanged by trading systems for exchanging goods and services for other goods and services. For example, you wanted a slave, you needed something worth giving in exchange, such as ivory or cotton. People also traded things for whatever they wanted, like fish, gin, beads, tobacco, and salt.
2. The British introduced the first currency in Nigeria
The concept of money was introduced during the British colonization of Nigeria. Pound, Pence, and Shillings have been used by Nigerians.
Although the Nigerian Central Bank was established in 1958, 13 years after independence, Nigeria continued to use the Pound Sterling. Nigeria was the last country among the colonized British countries to abandon this system. Nigeria began to use Naira in 1973.
3. The Naira was introduced in 1973
On January 1, 1973, Nigeria started using its own currency. It was named naira by Chief Obafemi Awolowo. This was the real beginning of the history of money in Nigeria. Naira and kobo were rolled into the Nigerian economy with bank noted and coins. The central bank of Nigeria is in charge of distributing the Naira. It controls how much money flows into the economy. The official currency code for Naira is NGN.
In 1973, we had ½, 1, 5, 10, and 25 kobo coins, and 50kobo ₦1, ₦5, and ₦10 banknotes. The ½ and 1 kobo coins were made with bronze and the higher denominations in cupro-nickel. ₦1 is 100 kobo. In 1977, the ₦20 was introduced.
In 1989, the 5 kobo and 10 kobo coins were removed from circulation, and in 1991, the ₦50 note was introduced. In 1991, the 50 kobos and ₦1 notes were changed to coins.
In 1999, the ₦100 note was introduced, In the year 2000, ₦200 was introduced. ₦500 was introduced in 2001 and ₦1000 in 2005.
₦1000 is the largest Nigerian denomination in circulation.
4. Who are the people on the Naira notes?
The ₦5 has former Prime Minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, ₦10 has educationist, activist, and politician, Alvan Ikoku, General Muritala Mohammed is on ₦20, and ₦50 carries an illustration of Nigerians from varying tribes.
₦100 has Obafemi Awolowo, ₦200 has a picture of Sir Ahmadu Bello, ₦500 carries the first president of Nigeria, Nnamdi Azikiwe and ₦1000 has former CBN governors, Alhaji Aliyu Mai-Bornu and Clement Nyong Isong.
5. The naira wasn’t always this bad
Today, the naira exchanges at $1 to 500 NGN. It hasn’t always been like that. Over the years, the naira has depleted in value because of economic problems in Nigeria, and inflation.
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