Timeline: 10 changes made on Nigeria’s currency since 1960

Alao Abiodun from The Nation

…While this is not the first time Nigeria will be redesigning its currency, it has made several modifications in times past.

The first major currency issue in Nigeria was undertaken following the colonial ordinance of 1880 which introduced the Shillings and Pence as the legal tender currency in British West Africa.

Here’s a timeline of changes made on Nigeria’s currency since 1960:

  1. In 1962, the inscription “Federation of Nigeria” was changed to ” Federal Republic of Nigeria” on the notes to reflect Nigeria’s status as a “Republic” after gaining Independence in 1960.
  2. In 1973, Nigeria switched to naira from Pound as the legal tender. At that time, one naira was worth ten shillings. The kobo was regarded as the minor unit. A hundred kobo was equivalent to a naira.
  3. In 1977, a new N20 banknote was introduced. It had the image of a prominent citizen, late Head of state, General Murtala Mohammed.

It was also the highest denomination at the time and was produced due to the growth of the country’s economy.

  1. In 1979, N1, N5, N10 were introduced in different colors in the same dimension as the N20 note.

The notes had portraits of prominent Nigerians.

  1. In 1984, there were color changes on all the Bank notes except 50 kobo.
  2. N100, N200, N500 and ?1000 notes were created in December 1999, November 2000, April 2001 and October 2005 respectively.
  3. In 2007, a polymer N20 banknote was introduced for the first time.

Also, the N1 and 50K coins were redesigned and the N2 coin was created.

  1. In 2009, N50, N10 and N5 notes were changed to polymer seeing the benefits with N20 notes.
  2. To celebrate Nigeria’s 59th anniversary, a new N50 naira note was created in 2010.
  3. To mark the 100th anniversary of Nigeria’s amalgamation in 1914, the N100 note was redesigned on December 19, 2014.

The latest design is expected to be circulated by December 15, 2022 while the old notes would still be used until January 31, 2023.

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