The official unit of exchange in Nigeria is the Naira (₦), which is also known as the national currency. Even though the nation’s money has changed over time to become what it is now, some of the faces have remained the same. Nigerians must be very aware of the characteristics of the persons depicted on their money. This has major significance. However, few Nigerians are familiar with the individuals faces depicted on the Naira banknotes. This article provides all you need know about the people or faces shown on the Nigerian Naira.
NAMES OF PEOPLE ON NIGERIAN CURRENCIES: PROFILE & REASON FOR HONOUR
The currency notes are shown here, along with the names that are printed on them.
5 NAIRA NOTE (ALHAJI TAFAWA BALEWA)
Alhaji Tafawa Balewa’s likeness can be found on the five naira note. From 1960 until 1966, Tafawa Balewa served as Nigeria’s first and only prime minister.
If the Naira serves as a tool to prevent the obscurity of former leaders, then this man is largely forgotten. The five Naira note is becoming harder to find, which is why. You should be aware that the person shown on the five naira note is Abubakar Tafawa Balewa as part of our little effort to keep him “honored.” He served as Nigeria’s first and only prime minister. He served as the nation’s spokesperson on foreign affairs at one point. Tafawa Balewa played a key role in the Organization of the African Union’s creation. His murder occurred in January.
10 NAIRA NOTE (ALVAN IKOKU)
Although 10 Naira has helped save Nigerians, most people are unaware of Alvan Ikoku’s identity or the significance of his appearance on the currency.
Alvan Ikoku was a politician, activist, and supporter of education. He worked to get the government to recognize the National Union of Teachers (NUT). Several education-related laws were subsequently changed. Alvan Ikoku also promoted the Education Bill of Rights, which guaranteed free access to fundamental education for all.
A symbol or not? So lift your ten Naira note in celebration of him the next time you use it to make a purchase.
20 NAIRA NOTE (GENERAL MURITALA MOHAMMED AND LADI KWALI)
Murtala Mohammed’s image is on the twenty naira banknote. Mohammed presided over Nigeria as its leader from 1975 to 1976 before being assassinated. He was alive from 1938 to 1976. Ladi Kwali is shown on the reverse. Ladi was a potter from Nigeria. She became well known around the country for her ceramic skills. She was born in 1925 and passed away in 1984.
General Muritala Mohammed, one of Nigeria’s most divisive presidents, is shown on this note. Nobody is exactly sure if he belongs in the genuinely good person or tough guy category. The reason is because he was an evil dictator who was installed into power during a coup. He had an impact on the events that preceded the Nigerian Civil War as well.
However, throughout his administration, Nigeria’s economy and foreign policy both improved. Before he was killed, he started the process of removing the military from power in Nigeria.
50 NAIRA NOTE
Images are drawn on both sides of the #50 naira banknote. There are four persons on the front side: a woman and three males. They were allegedly chosen from Nigeria’s many ethnic and religious groups. A significant fishing catch is visible on the back side.
Almost certainly, you’ve heard of the term “waso.” This is due to Nigeria’s (sad?) attempt to promote togetherness with the Wazobia concept of the fifty Naira note. The three “main” ethnic groups—Yoruba, Hausa, and Igbo—are portrayed. The precise translation of Wazobia is “come, come, come.”
100 NAIRA NOTE (CHIEF OBAFEMI AWOLOWO)
The #100 naira note features a picture of Chief Obafemi Awolowo. Here’s someone you all recognize. Maybe it’s because he’s credited with so many other things in addition to appearing on the 100 Naira note. He continues to be mentioned in politics today due to the legacy he has left behind.
Awolowo was a multi-talented individual who began his career as a journalist and went on to get degrees in both law and commerce, thus it is only fitting that a university be named in his honor. He is well recognized for his involvement with the National Youth Movement (NYM) and for serving as the country of Nigeria’s first Premier of the Western Region. At one point, Awolowo also served as the minister of finance. He is known as Asiwaju Omo.
200 NAIRA NOTE (SIR AHMADU BELLO)
Could there be a knight on a Naira note? I’ve often wondered what the ‘Sir’ in Sir Ahmadu Bello means, but I’m not sure.
Sir Ahmadu Bello was born into the Sokoto Caliphate dynasty and is therefore actual royalty. He formed Northern People’s Congress, an aristocratic Hausa-Fulani party (NPC). In order to put Northerners on an equal footing with their Southern counterparts, this platform promoted their cause. He was the one who established the partnership with Azikwe’s NCNC to establish Nigeria’s first indigenous government and bring the country to independence. He was Nigeria’s first and last Premier. Tafawa Balewa was appointed prime minister after winning independence.
500 NAIRA NOTE (DR NNAMDI AZIKWE)
Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe is a second journalist here. Oh, you were unaware that the very first president of Nigeria was a journalist? You’re welcome then. I’ll add one more interesting fact: Azikwe could speak three different Nigerian languages.
Nevertheless, he entered politics by helping Herbert Macaulay co-found the National Council of Nigerians and Cameroons (NCNC). This is crucial since the NCNC guided the nation to independence in cooperation with the Northern People’s Congress (NPC). He is recognized to as the father of Nigerian nationalism for this reason.
1000 NAIRA NOTE (ALHAJI ALIYU MAI-BORNU AND CLEMENT NYONG ISONG)
The proverb “two heads are better than one” is a widely used expression. What is better than one head, wondered CBN? Dual heads! Particularly given that it is twice as large as its predecessor, the 500 Naira note. However, it’s two unfamiliar faces. Let us educate you.
CBN made the decision to pay tribute to two of its own: Clement Nyong Isong and Alhaji Aliyu Mai-Bornu. Since, why not? They genuinely generate this income. Mai-Bornu, the first individual, served as the Central Bank of Nigeria’s first indigenous governor, and Isong, the second individual, succeeded him. A true professional man, Clement Isong also managed to secure a gubernatorial seat subsequently.