The naira (NGN) is the official currency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The Nigerian naira is managed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which engages in currency issuance and distribution and maintains its price stability. One naira is divided into 100 kobo. As of April 2021, 1 US dollar is equal to around 380 NGN. So, to buy 1 US dollar, you will need to pay 380 naira. The CBN has the sole right to issue currency notes and coins throughout Nigeria.
In this article, we've gathered some of the most exciting facts about Nigerian naira. Let's find out what they are:
- The name naira was first introduced by Chief Obafemi Awolowo. He was a Nigerian statesman and a very strong and influential advocate of independence, nationalism and federalism. Obafemi Awolowo played a key role in Nigeria's independence movement.
- The syllable "Nai" is synonymous with Nigeria. Young Nigerians sometimes call Nigeria "Naija." So, we can assume that Chief Obafemi probably just took the name of Nigeria and shortened it to a similar-sounding naira.
- As we've pointed out earlier, a naira consists of 100 kobo. Back in the day, there were different denominations - 1⁄2 kobo, 1 kobo, 5 kobo, 10 kobo, 25 kobo. But later, in February 2007, they were withdrawn from circulation. So, nowadays, you will find only 50 kobo coins in circulation.
- Nairas are also presented in the form of coins, which include 1 naira and 2 nairas. Banknotes in circulation include the 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 naira notes.
- In 2014, the Central Bank of Nigeria issued a commemorative banknote to celebrate the "Centennial of Nigeria's existence as a Nation." This note has a special QR code located at the back of the note. When scanned, it tells the centenary story with an Internet-enabled mobile device or an iPad.
- The naira has constantly been devaluing since its introduction in 1973. From 1996 until 2021, its inflation rate averaged 12.50 percent.
- In the FX market, the NGN is paired with the US dollar (USD/NGN). It's the most popular currency pair that involves naira. The NGN has been pegged to the US dollar at various levels over the years.
- The naira tends to be more volatile against other currencies since the Central Bank of Nigeria monitors the USD the most. Since the NGN is not pegged to other currencies, its daily rate can oscillate.
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