Nigerian naira

The naira (sign: ; code: NGN) is the currency of Nigeria. It is subdivided into 100 kobo.

Nigerian naira
ISO 4217
Banknotes₦5, ₦10, ₦20, ₦50, ₦100, ₦200, ₦500, ₦1000
Coins50 kobo, ₦1, ₦2
User(s) Nigeria
Central bankCentral Bank of Nigeria
PrinterNigerian Security Printing and Minting Company Limited
MintNigerian Security Printing and Minting Company Limited

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is the sole issuer of legal tender money throughout the Nigerian Federation. It controls the volume of money supplied 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.[2] This made Nigeria the last former British colony to abandon the £sd currency system in favour of the decimal currency system. There was a government 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. The name naira is simply a contraction of "Nigeria", while the subdivision, kobo, is named by a derivation of the English "copper."

Rampant inflation has occurred in Nigeria. 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 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.[3]

As of 20 June 2016, the naira was allowed to float, after being pegged at 197 to one US dollar for several months. Trades speculated the natural range of the naira would be between 280 and 350 to the dollar.[4]


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 denominations in cupro-nickel. The ½ kobo coins were minted only 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.[5] The deadline for exchanging the old currency was set at 31 May 2007.[6] The central bank stated that the ½ to 25 kobo coins were withdrawn from circulation with effect from 28 February 2007.


On January 1, 1973, the Central Bank of Nigeria introduced notes for 50 kobo, 1, 5, 10 and 20 naira. The 50 kobo notes were last issued in 1989. In 1991, 50 naira notes were issued, followed by 100 naira in 1999, 200 naira in 2000, 500 naira in 2001 and 1000 naira on October 12, 2005.

On February 28, 2007, new versions of the 5 to 50 naira banknotes were introduced. Originally the 10, 20 and 50 naira were to be polymer banknotes,[14] but the 5,10 and 50 were delayed to late 2009 and only the 20 was released in polymer. The notes are slightly smaller (130 × 72 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.[15]

In 2012 the Central Bank of Nigeria was contemplating the introduction of new currency denominations of N5,000. The bank also made plans to convert ₦5, ₦10, ₦20 and ₦50 into coins which are all presently notes.[16]

The Central Bank of Nigeria announced that it will no longer issue banknotes on polymer citing higher costs and environmental issues.[17][18][19]

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 the front, but are redesigned to include a new color scheme, revised security features, and the text "One Nigeria, Great Promise" in microprinting. On the back is a quickresponse code (QRC) which when scanned leads users to a website about Nigeria's history.[20][21]

In 2019, the naira attained a landmark when for the first time, it featured the signature of a woman. Priscilla Ekwere Eleje, the Director of Currency operations of the Central Bank of Nigeria at the time, had the honor.[22]

Currently circulating banknotes[23]
1999–2005 series
ImageValueDimensionsMain colourDescriptionDate of
ObverseReverseObverseReverseWatermarkFirst printingIssue
₦100 151 × 78 mm Purple and multicolour Chief Obafemi Awolowo Zuma Rock As portrait(s), "CBN", value 1999 1 December 1999
₦200 Cyan and multicolour Sir Ahmadu Bello Pyramid of agricultural commodity and livestock farming 2000 1 November 2000
₦500 Blue and multicolour Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe Off-shore oil rig 2001 4 April 2001
₦1000 Brown Alhaji Aliyu Mai-Bornu, Dr. Clement Isong CBN's corporate headquarters in Abuja 2005 12 October 2005
2006 series (paper and polymer banknotes)
₦5 130 × 72 mm Purple Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Nkpokiti dancers Central Bank of Nigeria logo, "CBN" 2006 28 February 2007
₦10 Red Alvan Ikoku Fulani milk maids
₦20 Green General Murtala Mohammed Ladi Kwali
₦50 Blue Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba men and a woman Local fishermen
For table standards, see the banknote specification table.

Second naira

The naira was scheduled for redenomination in August 2008, although this was cancelled by then-President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua,[24] with 100 old naira to become 1 new naira. The Nigerian Central Bank stated that it would make the naira fully convertible against foreign currencies by 2009. Currently, the amount of foreign currency is regulated through weekly auctions, while the Central Bank sets the exchange rate. The naira appreciated against the dollar through 2007 due to high oil revenues. Also, the then-Bank Governor, Professor Chukwuma Soludo noted the weekly central bank auctions of foreign currency will gradually be phased out, and that the bank would "only intervene in the market as may be required to achieve defined policy objectives".[25]


Coins were to be issued in denominations of:

  • 1 kobo (₦0.01)
  • 2 kobo (₦0.02)
  • 5 kobo (₦0.05)
  • 10 kobo (₦0.10)
  • 20 kobo (₦0.20)

Due to inflation, Nigerian coins are all essentially worthless now. Each coin has an extremely low value.


Banknotes were to be printed in denominations of:

  • 50 kobo (₦0.50)
  • 1 naira (₦1)
  • 5 naira (₦5):
  • 10 naira (₦10)
  • 20 naira (₦20)
  • 50 naira (₦50)
  • 100 naira (₦100)
  • 200 naira (₦200)
  • 500 naira (₦500)
  • 1000 naira (₦1000)
    • 50 kobo & 1 naira — no longer in use
    • 5 naira - had lesser value in 2018

Exchange rates

This table shows the historical value of one U.S. dollar in Nigerian naira. PM = parallel market.[26]

DateNaira per US$DateNaira per US$DateNaira per US$
19720.658199317.30 (21.90 PM)2014170–199
19730.658199422.33 (56.80 PM)2015199–300
19740.63199521.89 (71.70 PM)2016390–489
19750.616199621.89 (84.58 PM)2017?
19760.62199721.89 (84.58 PM)2018360
19770.647199821.89 (84.70 PM)2019305
19780.606199921.89 (88–90 PM)
19790.596200085.98 (105.00 PM)
19800.550 (0.900 PM)200199–106 (104–122 PM)
19810.612002109–113 (122–140 PM)
19820.6732003114–127 (135–137 PM)
19830.7242004127–130 (137–144 PM)
19850.894 (1.70 PM)2006128.50–131.80
19862.02 (3.90 PM)2007120–125
19874.02 (5.90 PM)2008115.50–120
19884.54 (6.70 PM)2009145–171
19897.39 (10.70 PM)2010148.21–154.8
19907.39 (10.70 PM)2011151.05–165.1
19918.04 (9.30 PM)2012155.09–161.5
Current NGN exchange rates

See also


  1. "Central Bank of Nigeria - Home". Central Bank of Nigeria. Central Bank of Nigeria. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  2. "Central Bank of Nigeria:: History of The Currency".
  3. "Nigeria leaves key rate at 12 pct as expected", Reuters, 31 January 2012
  4. "Nigeria Floats its Currency". The Economist. 18 June 2016.
  5. "Nigeria: Nigeria's New Notes And Coins". This Day. 2007-02-21. Retrieved 2007-02-26.
  6. "Nigeria: New Currency - Two Per Cent of Withdrawals to Be in Coins - CBN". Vanguard. 2007-02-21. Retrieved 2007-02-26.
  7. Central Bank of Nigeria. "Old Coins - 1973 Coins". Archived from the original on 2006-01-17. Retrieved 2007-02-26.
  8. "Welcome to the New Central Bank of Nigeria Website".
  9. "Welcome to the New Central Bank of Nigeria Website".
  10. "Central Bank of Nigeria Website - Currency - 25 Kobo".
  11. "Welcome to the New Central Bank of Nigeria Website".
  12. "Welcome to the New Central Bank of Nigeria Website".
  13. "Central Bank of Nigeria - Did You Find".
  14. "CBN warns against fixing prices in foreign currency *To launch new notes Feb 2007". Vanguard Nigeria. 2006-11-06. Retrieved 2007-02-26.
  15. "Big banknote too much for Nigeria". 29 December 1999 via
  16. CBN To Introduce N5000, N2000 Notes; N50, N20, N10 Coins Archived May 16, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  17. Nigeria to abandon polymer banknotes Archived March 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine September 13, 2012. Retrieved on 2012-11-09.
  18. CBN Clarifies Decision to Abandon Polymer Banknotes AllAfrica ( September 12, 2012. Retrieved on 2012-11-09.
  19. Plan to Phase-out Polymer Banknotes Stirs New Controversy Archived April 27, 2013, at the Wayback Machine This Day Live ( April 24, 2013. Retrieved on 2013-04-25.
  20. "New ₦100 Commemorative Centenary Celebration". Archived from the original on 2015-09-08. Retrieved 2018-12-26.
  21. Nigeria new 100-naira commemorative confirmed Archived October 14, 2016, at the Wayback Machine February 9, 2015. Retrieved on 2015-02-13.
  23. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2007-09-26. Retrieved 2007-08-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  24. "Nigeria set to free its currency" Archived March 5, 2016, at the Wayback Machine, BBC News, 14 August 2007
  25. "Dollar to naira Parallel Market Rate:: 1USD to Naira".
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