Have you ever wondered why there are photos of people on the Naira note or why each note has a particular person on it? What is the history behind the person and the Naira note itself? You may what to know a little about the people on the currency you spend everyday and why they were significant enough to appear on the note.
The Nigerian Naira and Kobo were introduced in 1973 but Kobo was phased out because it no longer had value in the Nigerian market.
Before the introduction of the Nigerian currency, Nigeria used the pound as currency between 1907 and 1973 and before colonization, trade by barter was used.
The idea of including images of people on the Nigerian currency probably came from the pound that was previously used.
Then, the pound had images of random people and places on the notes but as Nigerian grew independent the Naira note became a symbol that represents Nigerians and the culture of the Nigerian people.
Legit.ng presents the history of people on the Naira note from the lowest note still in use to the highest note.
5 Naira note has the image of Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa: He was the first prime minister of Nigeria. He was born in December, 1912 and died on January 15, 1966. The Tafawa Balewa Square was named after him, which is where the first independence celebration took place on October 1, 1960.
Tafawa Balewa is from Bauchi state, he was the son of a district head in the state. He became a politician in 1952 as the minister of works at the time. He later served as the minister of transport. He retained his position of Prime Minister after Nigeria gained independence in 1960 and he was re-elected in 1964. As Prime Minister, he played a huge role in the formation of indigenous rules, he played a part in the creation of cooperative relationship with French speaking African countries.
10 Naira note has the image of Alvan Ikoku: He established a Co-educational Secondary School in West Africa, the Aggrey Memorial Secondary School, he played an important role in the formation of the Nigerian Union of Teachers.
Ikoku was born on August 1, 1900, in Abia state and he died in November, 1971. He was an educator, a statesman, an activist and a politician. He was nominated to the Eastern Nigeria House of Assembly in 1946. In 1947, Ikoku became a representative of the Eastern region on the legislative council in Lagos. The educator called for an education bill of rights for primary school education. He asked that education be free for primary school student for the six years nationwide.
20 Naira note has the image of Murtala Mohammed: He was Head of the Federal Military Government of Nigeria from 1975 to 1976. Murtala Mohammed was born on November 8, 1938, and he died on February 13, 1976. Murtala Mohammed Airport was named after him in the mid 1970s.
He was born in Kano state, he was a genius military strategist. During the civil war in Nigeria, in August 1967, he led the second infantry division where he was made the first general officer commander. He became the military head of state in 1975, after General Yakubu Gowon was overthrown.
50 Naira has WAZOBIA which signifies diversity in Nigeria. WA means come in Yoruba, ZO means come in Hausa and BIA also means come in Igbo. It represents the culture of the Nigerian people and the back of the note also as an image of fishermen working to show the industrious side of Nigerians.
100 Naira has the image of Obafemi Awolowo: He played a key role in Nigeria's Independence. Obafemi Awolowo University was named after him on May 12, 1987, to honour him as the first premier of the Western Region of Nigeria and the brain behind the establishment of the school.
Obafemi Awolowo was born on March 6, 1909, and he died on May 9, 1987. He was born in Ikenne, Ogun state. He started his career as a nationalist in the Nigerian Youth Movement. Awolowo was the first leader of government business and the minister of local government and finance.
200 Naira has the image of Ahmadu Bello: He played a major role in Northern Nigeria pre-independence politics. He was the first and only premier of Northern Nigeria. He was born on June 12, 1910, and he died on January 15, 1966.
500 Naira has the image of Nnamdi Azikwe: He was the first president of Nigeria, he governed from 1963 to 1966. Nnamdi Azikwe University is named after to honour him as the first president of Nigeria. Nnamdi Azikwe was born on November 16, 1904 and he died on May 11, 1996.
1000 Naira has the image of Clement Isong and Mallam Aliyu Mai-Bornu.
Clement Isong was a banker and politician born on April 20, 1920, Eket in Akwa Ibom state. He was the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria from 1967 - 1975. In 1979, he was elected as governor of Cross River state.
In 1982, he was honoured with Nigeria's national honour of Commander of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He died on May 29, 2000.
Mallam Aliyu Mai-Bornu was an economist born on February 23, 1919, in Yola, Adamawa state. He was the first indigenous governor of Central Bank of Nigeria from 1963 - 1967. He was the director and general manager of the Nigerian Tobacco Company from 1967 - 1969.
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He was on the board of directors of the Nigerian Tobacco Company until he passed away on February 23, 1970.
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