Special 20 Naira banknotes

A new banknote denomination of the value of 20 Naira was issued on the 11th of February, 1977. This event was of special significance! The twenty Naira (N20) banknotes was the highest denomination to be introduced at that period. Its issue became necessary because of the growth of incomes in the country; the preference for cash transactions and the need for convenience. The twenty Naira banknotes considered as a symbol of the further successful future and development of the whole country.

Another distinctive feature of the banknote is considered that Twenty Naira banknote became the first currency note in Nigeria bearing the Portrait of a Nigerian citizen. This honor was given to the late Head of State, General Murtala Ramat Muhammed who was the torch bearer of the Nigerian Revolution July, 1975. He was declared a national hero on the 1st of October, 1978.

The note was issued on the 1st Anniversary of his assassination as a fitting tribute to a most illustrious son of Nigeria. On 2nd July, 1979, new currency notes of three denominations, namely, (N1), (N5), and (N10) were introduced. These notes were of the same size i.e., 151 x 78 mm as the N20 note issued on the 11th February, 1977. In order to facilitate identification, distinctive colors which were similar to those of the current banknotes of the various denominations were used. The notes bore the portraits of three eminent Nigerians, who were declared national heroes on the 1st of October, 1978. The engravings at the back of the notes reflected the cultural aspects of the country. In 1991, both the 50k and N1 Notes were coined. In response to expansion in economic activities and to facilitate an efficient payments system, the N100, N200, N500, N1000 were introduced in December 1999, November 2000, April 2001 and October, 2005 respectively. In 2014, the Central Bank of Nigeria issued a 100 Naira commemorative banknote to celebrate the centennial of Nigeria's existence.