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All The Signs And Symbols In The Naira Notes Explained

The Naira as the official currency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has its uses, operations, printing, and other functions regulated by the Central Bank of Nigeria, which is the apex financial body in the country. As at the moment, the Federal Republic of Nigeria has eight Naira Notes that are currently in use with diverse naira signs and symbols. They include 5 Naira Notes, 10 Naira Notes, 20 Naira Notes, 50 Naira Notes, 100 Naira Notes, 200 Naira Notes, 500 Naira Notes, and The 1000 Naira Notes.

These Naira Notes are mostly unique and different from each other. In this article, you will get to know about the symbols and signs that are embedded in the Naira Notes starting from the 5 Naira Notes to the 1000 Naira Notes.

5 Naira

The 5 Naira note is the least of the Naira Notes in the country and due to the harsh economic conditions has little or no purchasing power. However, it is still widely used across the country.

In the face of the 5 Naira note, the face of the first prime minister of Nigeria, Tafawa Balewa is shown, there is also a rhomboid shape. The shape is a sort of security symbol and it is in all the Naira Notes although some might have a different shape.

5 Nigerian Naira banknote (Tafawa Balewa) - Exchange yours for cash

After the Central Bank of Nigeria, the inscription is the logo of the Central Bank of Nigeria.


Turning to the back, there is an image of drummers. The drummers are from the South East and they are called the Nkpokiti drummers. There is also a CBN logo enclosed in a cycle pattern by the right-hand side.

On the upper left-hand side, there is a flag of Nigeria.

The value of the currency is also written across it in the three major Nigerian languages, Igbo, Hausa, and Yoruba.

10 Naira

The face of the 10 Naira note is adorned with the face of the popular Nigerian educator named Alvan Ikoku.

On the upper left-hand side, a square shape can be seen. The shape is a security symbol.
Just like in all other notes, there is a serial number by the left-hand side and lower right-hand side respectively.

Read this – How the naira towers over some non-African currencies

The back also shows the image of women some women carrying things on their head. The women are actually Fulani milkmaids and they symbolise the Nigerian culture of getting diary products from cattle.


The value of the currency is also written across the back of the note.

20 Naira

The face of the 20 Naira Note has the face of the former military Head of state of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, General Murtala Mohammed. There is also a circle security sign in the top right hand side.

On the back of the note is a popular Nigerian potter named Ladi Kwali with her pottery works. What many fails to realise is that her name is also included there but it will take a keen observation to be seen.


50 Naira

Unlike other notes that have just one image of a particular person across the face/front, the 50 Naira note has the images of four local people from the three major tribes in Nigeria.
At the top left is a triangular symbol of security.

NIGERIA 50 NAIRA 2006 P 35 UNC BUNDLE OF (100 NOTES) 100 PCS | eBay


At the back, there is an image of local fishermen handling a very big fish they caught. This shows the country is rich in sea foods and fishing.

100 Naira

There are two different notes of the 100 Naira that is currently in circulation now. The first is the old one and on the face is the then Premier head of the Western Nigeria, Obafemi Awolowo and the value of the note and Central Bank Of Nigeria all written in cursive.

The value of the note is also written in Arabic in the lower part. In the back are the historic Zuma rock and certain symbolic details.

Nigeria 100 Naira Banknote, 2014, P-41, UNC


The New note is quite different though, with the face still having the image of Awolowo but with some palm fruits and  cotton, which are farm products produced in the country. The Arabic symbol is not used in this new one rather, some centenary commemoration.

On the back, an image of traditionally dressed and happy people is used to replace the Zuma rock. It also has a QR code with two cowries in the upper right hand side. Just like other notes, it has some embedded patterns to serve as anti-forgery measures such as scattered fibres, a see-through element, and a motion thread.

200 Naira

It has the face of the then Premier of the Northern Nigeria, Sir Ahmadu Bello and also the Arabic value of the note in the lower right hand side of the note.


Read this – Naira and how it compared to all world currencies

On the back is a pyramid of sacks showing how farm produces are packed especially in the Northern part of the country. It also has images of many fruits growing in the country and also cattle which symbolises the main work of the nomadic Fulani tribe in Nigeria.

500 Naira


With the face of Nnamdi Azikiwe and an Arabic inscription showing the value of the note. On the back is a deep-sea oil rig. The oil rig shows the Agbami oil field in the central Niger Delta. It also has a national coat of arms just below the oil rig.

1000 Naira

It has the face of both of Dr Clement Isong and Alhaji Mai Bornu on the front side. Below the images, on the lower left hand side is the Arabic inscription that indicates the value of the note. By the lower right hand is the coat of arms embedded in a golden enclosure. It has a green triangle right at the top of the name of Clement Isong.


Police arrest 14 over sale of naira notes | The Guardian Nigeria News -  Nigeria and World News — Nigeria — The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and  World News

On the back is the image of the Central Bank of Nigeria, a coat of arm by its right side.

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Written by Prince Chime



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