Full History of Nigerian Currency From 1912 to 2007
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.
On July 1, 1959 the Central Bank of Nigeria issued the Nigerian currency notes and coins and the West African Currency Board notes and coins were withdrawn.
Then, It was not until 1st July, 1962 that the legal tender was changed to reflect the country’s new status. The notes were still changed in 1968 following the misuse of the country’s currency notes.
On 31st March, 1971, the head of state announced that Nigeria would change to decimal currency as of January 1st, 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 by the recommendations of the Decimal Currency Committee.
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 ceased to exist and the one Naira which was equivalent to 10/- become the major unit:
On 11th February, 1977 a new banknote denomination of the value of 20 Naira was issued. This was special in two respects:
The N20 (Twenty Naira) banknote was the highest denomination to be introduced then, and its outcome was a result of the growth of incomes in the country; the preference for cash transactions and the need for convenience.
The N20 (Twenty Naira) banknote became 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.