A lot of collectors would like the chance to have a look at the Biafran currency notes. They are familiar with the events of Nigerian civil war and want a piece of it. That`s why they want to save its every element. Read this article and learn more about this Biafra history!
Biafran pound was the currency of Biafra Republic. This country existed between 1968 and 1970. The very first Biafra banknote was denominated in 5 shillings. Also, the Bank of Biafra introduced one Biafra pound in January 1968. It was the very beginning of Biafra money.
Later in 1969, a series of Biafra coins was issued. It included:
☛ 3 pence;
☛ 6 pence;
☛ 1 shilling;
☛ 2 and a half shilling;
The Bank of Biafra issued the second generation of Biafran currency notes in February 1969. It consisted of:
☛ ten pounds;
☛ Five pounds;
☛ One pound;
☛ ten shilling;
☛ Five shilling.
The Biafra notes were not recognized as a currency for the rest of the world. Still, Philately shops sold the Biafran one pound notes. And they became a part of some philatelists' collection.
What was Biafra?
In late May 1967, the Federal Government of Nigeria decided to split the country into twelve states. This action became the main catalyst for the independence movements in the Eastern Region. Later, on May 30 1967, the leader of the Eastern Region declared independence. The new name for the independent state was The Republic of Biafra. The new leader, who declared independence, was Lieutenant-Colonel Ojukwu.
War with Biafra
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The Federal Republic of Nigeria saw The Republic of Biafra as a Rebels` state. The central government was determined to regain control of the Eastern Region. Still, the power of The Republic of Biafra was underestimated. The central government was prepared only for “Police Operation,” when they launched offensive actions on July 6, 1967.
However, this police operation triggered the Biafra and Nigeria war that continued for two and a half years. Biafra did not stand a chance against Nigerian forces. It was needed to conduct military operations and at the same time, support refugees. It also tried to conduct the affairs of the government. That`s why the Biafra Republic established the Bank of Biafra.
The Bank of Biafra
One of the main concerns of the new republic was the establishment of the first bank. One of the first decrees of Biafra was named “Decree No. 3 of 1967”. It proclaimed the establishment of the Bank of Biafra. This Decree also established that the Bank had a board consisting of four Directors and a Governor.
The first governor of the bank was Sylvester U. Uqoh. The first directors remain unknown even today. Sylvester U. Uqoh was the first banker to issue the two and a half shilling, one shilling, six pence and three pence Biafra notes. He also introduced the ten pounds, five pounds, one pound, ten shilling and five shilling Biafra banknotes.
How many Biafra currency notes were issued?
It`s hard to count all the notes that were issued during the conflict. Still, the serial number prefix of the Biafra notes helps us to count the number of notes that were to be issued.
The first series had only two serial number prefixes. The second had four prefixes. It helps to estimate the number of banknotes:
- 5 shilling – 20 million;
- One pound – 40 million.
Biafran currency notes did not exist for a long time Still, even today they are of value for some collectors. You can buy the Biafra money in the price range from 1 to 10 pounds.
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