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. There was a plan to redenominate the naira at 1 new naira = 100 old naira in 2008, but the plan was suspended. The currency sign is U+20A6 ₦ NAIRA SIGN.
Rampant inflation has occurred in Nigeria over the existence of naira. The Central Bank of Nigeria claimed that they attempted to control the annual inflation rate below 10%. In 2011, the CBN increased key interest rate for 6 times, rising from 6.25% to 12%. On 31 January 2012, the CBN decided to maintain the key interest rate at 12%, in order to reduce the impact of inflation due to reduction in fuel subsidies.
As of 20 June 2016, the naira was allowed to float, after being pegged at 197 to the US dollar for several months. Trades speculated the natural range of the naira would be between 280 and 350 to the dollar.
In 1973, coins were introduced in denominations of ½, 1, 5, 10 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, with the 1 and 2 naira bimetallic. Some Nigerians expressed concerns over the usability of the ₦2 coin.
The deadline for exchanging the old currency was set at 31 May 2007. The central bank stated that the ½ to 25 kobo coins were withdrawn from circulation with effect from 28 February 2007.