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Nigerian Naira: Understanding the Currency of Nigeria

The Nigerian Naira is the official currency of Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa. It is abbreviated as NGN and symbolized as ₦. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is responsible for issuing the currency, which was introduced in 1973 to replace the Pound sterling.

The Nigerian Naira is divided into 100 kobo, and its denominations include the 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1000 naira notes. The coins available in circulation are the 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 kobo coins.

The Nigerian Naira is one of the most widely used currencies in Africa and is accepted by many countries in the West African sub-region. It is also widely used in international trade transactions in the region.

Factors that Affect the Nigerian Naira Exchange Rate

Like other currencies, the Nigerian Naira exchange rate is influenced by several factors. Some of these factors include:

  1. Inflation: Inflation has a significant impact on the exchange rate of the Nigerian Naira. High inflation rates tend to lead to a weaker currency, while low inflation rates tend to strengthen the currency.
  2. Political Stability: The political climate in Nigeria plays a significant role in determining the exchange rate of the Naira. A stable political environment is likely to attract foreign investment, leading to a stronger currency.
  3. Foreign Reserves: The amount of foreign reserves held by the CBN is another factor that influences the exchange rate of the Naira. Higher foreign reserves tend to lead to a stronger currency, while lower foreign reserves can lead to a weaker currency.
  4. Demand and Supply: The demand and supply of the Nigerian Naira in the foreign exchange market also affect its exchange rate. If the demand for the Naira exceeds its supply, the currency’s value will appreciate, and vice versa.

History of the Nigerian Naira

The Nigerian naira was introduced in 1973, replacing the pound sterling as the official currency of Nigeria. The naira was originally divided into 100 kobo, but due to inflation, the value of the kobo has been severely diminished. In 2007, the Central Bank of Nigeria revalued the naira by removing four digits from the currency, so 1,000 naira became 1 naira. This was an attempt to reduce the amount of cash in circulation and make transactions more efficient.

Value of the Nigerian Naira

The value of the Nigerian naira has been volatile in recent years. In 2015, the naira was devalued due to falling oil prices, which are a major source of revenue for Nigeria. This caused the naira to lose value against other major currencies such as the US dollar, euro, and British pound. As of March 2023, the exchange rate of the naira is approximately 1 US dollar to 410 Nigerian naira.

Impact of the Nigerian Naira on the Economy

The value of the Nigerian naira has a significant impact on the country’s economy. When the naira loses value, the cost of imported goods increases, which can lead to inflation. This can make it more difficult for businesses and individuals to afford basic necessities such as food and medicine. On the other hand, a stronger naira can make imports more affordable, which can stimulate economic growth.


The Nigerian Naira is an important currency in Africa and is widely used in international trade transactions in the region. Its exchange rate is influenced by several factors, including inflation, political stability, foreign reserves, and demand and supply. Understanding these factors can help individuals and businesses make informed decisions when trading or investing in the Nigerian Naira.



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