The West African Currency Board was responsible for issuing currency notes in Nigeria from 1912 to 1959. Prior to the establishment of the West African Currency Board, Nigeria had used various forms of money including cowries and manilas.
On 1st July, 1959 the Central Bank of Nigeria issued the Nigerian currency notes and coins and the West African Currency Board notes and coins were withdrawn. It was not until 1st July, 1962 that legal tender status were changed to reflect the countryís new status. The notes were again changed in 1968 as a war strategy following the misuse of the countryís currency notes.
On 31st March, 1971, the then Head of State announced that Nigeria would change to decimal currency as from 1st January, 1973.The major currency unit would be called Naira which would be equivalent to ten shillings: the minor unit would be called kobo; 100 of which would make one Naira. The decision to change to decimal currency followed the recommendations of the Decimal Currency Committee set up in 1962 which submitted its report in 1964.
The change that took place in January, 1973 was a major one and this involved both currency notes and coins. The major unit of currency which used to be £1 no longer exists and the one Naira which is equivalent to 10/- has become the major unit:
On 11th February, 1977 a new banknote denomination of the value of 20 Naira was issued. This is special in two respects:
(a) The N20(Twenty Naira) banknote was the highest denomination to be introduced so far, and its issue became necessary as a result of the growth of incomes in the country; the preference for cash transactions and the need for convenience.
(b) The N20(Twenty Naira) banknote is the first currency note in Nigeria bearing the
Portrait of a Nigerian citizen, in this case, the late Head of State, General Murtala Ramat Muhammed (1938-1976 who was the torch bearer of the Nigerian Revolution July, 1975.
He was declared a national hero on the 1st of October,1978. The note was issued on the 1st Anniversary of his assassination as a fitting tribute to a most illustrious son of Nigeria. On 2nd July, 1979, new currency notes of three denominations, namely, ( N1), ( N5), and ( N10) were introduced. These notes are of the same size i.e., 151 x 78 mm as the N20 note issued on the 11th February, 1977. In order to facilitate identification, distinctive colors which are similar to those of the current banknotes of the various denominations have been used.
The notes bear the portraits of three eminent Nigerians who were declared national heroes on the 1st of October, 1978. The engravings at the back of the notes reflect cultural aspects of the country. In 1992, both the 50k and N1 Notes were coined. In response to expansion in economic activities and to facilitate an efficient payment system, the N100, N200 and N500 were introduced in December 1999, November 2000, April 2001, respectively.
Five Naira front view.
Five Naira back view.
Ten Naira front view.
Ten Naira back view.
Twenty Naira front view.
Twenty Naira back view.
Fifty Naira front view.
Fifty Naira back view.
One Hundrend Naira front view.
One Hundrend Naira back view.
Two Hundrend Naira front view
[B] Two Hundrend Naira back view
Five Hundrend Naira front view
Five Hundrend Naira back view
One thousand naira front view
One thousand naira back view