A south-eastern Nigerian secessionist state led by the Igbo community, the Republic of Biafra got its name from the Bight of Biafra. The secession was due to cultural, ethnic, and economic conflicts among the various citizens in Nigeria. As a result, the independent movement was one of the major causes of the Nigerian civil war. The nation existed during the war which happened from May 1967 and lasted until January 1970.
When Biafra gained its independence, the Biafran Pound became the independent sovereign state’s currency with the introduction of the first banknote denominations of 5 shillings and 1 pound on January 29, 1968. The notes have a palm tree and a big rising sun on their obverse design. The banknotes have various back designs. The 5 shillings depicts four Biafran girls while the 1 pound shows the coat of arms. Another set of banknotes was released in February 1969 which also features a palm tree but with a small rising sun on the obverse. The new family of notes introduced the 10 shillings, 5 pounds, and 10 pounds denominations with an oil refinery, a female weaver, and a male carver on their respective reverse designs.
Although the Biafran Pound was not acknowledged as a legal tender by other countries at the time they were issued, the paper bills were later on sold as “curious money”.