The Federal Republic of Nigeria is West African country. It is bordered by Niger to the north, Chad and Cameroon to the east, the Gulf of Guinea to the south, and Benin to the south. It is the most populated country in Africa. Nigeria was a protectorate of Britain, and became independent in 1960. Even though Nigeria adopted a republican constitution in 1963, it still remains a member of the Commonwealth. Nigeria is diverse multinational state, with more than 250 ethnic groups inhabiting the country. Its official language is English.
The Naira is the official currency of Nigeria. One naira is equivalent to 100 kobo. The Central Bank of Nigeria is the only issuing authority of the naira. The bank was established on 1958 and commenced operations on July 1959. Prior to the naira, Nigeria used the Nigerian pound until 1973. It was the last country to abandon the pound system, and the exchange rate was two naira per pound. The first series of naira banknotes had the same design as its preceding Nigerian pound, with the Central Bank of Nigeria building featured on the obverse side and different economic activities on the reverse side. These notes had graduating sizes. However, in 1977 a new family of banknotes were introduced. These notes all had the same size, and bear portraits of different Nigerian heroes on the obverse side and cultural aspects on the reverse side. In 1984, the 1, 5, 10, and 20 naira notes were issued with new colors to arrest the alarming rate of currency trafficking. Larger denominations were introduced in 1999, and in 2009 the 5, 10, and 50 naira notes were printed on polymer substrate. Two commemorative notes were issued: a commemorative 50 naira note in 2010 to honor the 50th anniversary of independence, and a commemorative 100 naira note in 2014 to celebrate Nigeria’s 100th anniversary as a single united nation. The commemorative 100 naira note is the first in the world to incorporate a Quick Recognition Code (QR Code) into its design.