nigerian naira symbols ₦, Sign and History
When you see the dollar sign, the first thing that comes to your mind is the USA, the same thing with the British pounds as well as the Chinese yen; they are all names used to identify the currency of each of these countries.
The same applies to Naira, a unique name coined from Nigeria by Chief Obafemi Awolowo, who is one of the country’s founding fathers.
Before the introduction of Naira and Kobo in 1973, Nigerians have used other names to depict the money spent in the West African country; famous among them is the British pounds which was used between 1907 and 1973.
The reason for the use of pounds was because Nigeria was a former colony of the British Government, which ceased to be one after it gained independence on the 1st of October 1960.
Apart from the pounds, some of the currencies of Nigeria had used in the past include, Cowries and Manilas.
During the British rule in the West African country, the pounds were subdivided into 20 shillings, each shilling makes 12 pence. Also, the pounds being spent in Nigeria was at equality with the British pounds, and it’s easy to convert.
However, the new change in 1973 saw the decimal naira at a rate of 1 pound to 2 naira. Also, at this point, Nigeria became the last country to discard the British West Africa pound currency system.
According to record, during the British regime as far back as 1959, coins were issued in denominations of ½, 1, 3 and 6 pence respectively in 1 and 2 shillings.
However, they had different designs and face values, while the ½ and 1 penny coins were bronze and holed. The 3 pence coin was created in nickel-brass and was a smaller version of the unique 12 sided three penny bits being used in the UK, jersey and Fiji.
After the use of coins for some, Nigeria moved in the direction of making use of banknotes. In 1959, the apex bank in the country, the Central Bank of Nigeria, introduced banknotes in denominations of 5 and 10 shillings, including 1 and 5 pounds.
They added three series of notes in 1958, 1967 and 1968, respectively.
Nigerian Currency Symbol and Sign
The introduction of new currency saw the Naira and Kobo become the legal tender in 1973, at the period the Kobo was very common and the most widely used in Nigeria.
Below are some of distinct symbols and signs that differentiated the currency.
Nigerian Currency Symbol:
• Naira and Kobo
Nigerian Currency Sign:
• The Naira has the sign ‘₦’
• The Kobo was signed “K’
During that period, the Kobo was in five denominations and are 1/2k, 1k, 5k, 10k and 25k. By 1989, the 50k and N1, which were initially bank notes, were changed to coins.
In the present day Nigeria, the Kobo coins are no longer in circulation as it has been phased out because it lacks purchasing power in the market.
The Naira and the Naira Sign:
The CBN, a federal government-owned bank, is the only financial institution authorised to issue the Naira banknotes in Nigeria. At the same time, the Nigerian security printing and Minting Company is the only authorised printer.
The Naira and the Naira Sign
The Naira code “NGN” and signed with the symbol “₦” was made public on notes in 1973 and as then could be found in only four denominations: ₦1, ₦5, ₦10 and ₦20.
Below are the dates of introduction of Major Naira Notes in Nigeria
• The ₦50 note was introduced in the year 1991
• The ₦100 note was released in 1999.
• The ₦200 note was released in 2000
• The ₦500 notes were introduced in 2001
• And lastly, the ₦1000 note was released on October 12, 2005.
At some point, there were reports of plans to introduce 2000 and 5000 naira; however, so far, it has not happened.
Over the years, some of the naira banknotes like 5 naira, 10 naira, 20 naira and 50 naira were phased out and redesigned.
The naira used to be one of the most valuable currencies in the world, especially during the oil boom era; however, over the years, the Nigerian naira has Lost its value and has depreciated in both the local and international market.
As of 2021, one dollar and one pound when converted to Naira are above 500 naira, which is a sign it has lost its value from the era where one dollar was equal to one naira.