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Research Analysis

Nigeria: Total Currency In Circulation – Updated October 2017

This data shows the total currency in circulation in Nigeria from the year 2000.



Nigerian Immigration Service NIS jobs, National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA begins investigation of Banks and NIS over data breach

Total Currency in circulation in Nigeria

Definition: According to Investopedia, the currency in circulation of a country is currency that is physically used to conduct transactions between consumers and businesses rather than stored in a bank, financial institution or central bank. Currency in circulation is part of the overall money supply, with a larger portion of the overall supply being stored in checking and savings accounts.

Source: The data is published by the Central Bank of Nigeria in its website

YearMonthCurrency in Circulation N'million)
2016January 1,725,128.38
2016February 1,711,623.51
2016March 1,811,090.48
2016April 1,763,533.17
2016May 1,746,717.85
2016June 1,684,725.89
2016July 1,664,494.64
2016August 1,679,477.28
2015January 1,661,692.84
2015February 1,622,701.06
2015March 1,818,420.42
2015April 1,692,312.78
2015May 1,671,540.64
2015June 1,562,346.08
2015July 1,574,525.32
2015August 1,544,559.65
2015September 1,637,495.61
2015October 1,560,385.57
2015November 1,633,210.00
2015December 1,857,941.79
2014January 1,588,076.30
2014February 1,557,627.71
2014March 1,573,957.60
2014April 1,569,240.70
2014May 1,517,240.24
2014June 1,496,742.06
2014July 1,567,795.42
2014August 1,501,114.64
2014September 1,547,922.93
2014October 1,533,609.48
2014November 1,577,889.36
2014December 1,797,978.87
2013January 1,457,179.98
2013February 1,437,459.95
2013March 1,508,513.31
2013April 1,470,133.64
2013May 1,457,653.74
2013June 1,425,507.77
2013July 1,457,282.93
2013August 1,443,338.14
2013September 1,474,048.92
2013October 1,549,536.22
2013November 1,571,034.80
2013December 1,776,413.12
2012January 1,476,068.83
2012February 1,438,616.76
2012March 1,432,834.61
2012April 1,422,438.72
2012May 1,398,955.50
2012June 1,363,730.71
2012July 1,362,604.36
2012August 1,368,236.75
2012September 1,348,838.34
2012October 1,458,211.89
2012November 1,430,962.37
2012December 1,631,717.16
2011January 1,340,435.04
2011February 1,336,807.39
2011March 1,416,379.04
2011April 1,492,278.87
2011May 1,401,790.42
2011June 1,353,982.61
2011July 1,344,152.29
2011August 1,380,266.48
2011September 1,342,358.03
2011October 1,358,967.97
2011November 1,390,961.08
2011December 1,566,046.44
2010January 1,068,205.82
2010February 1,049,411.15
2010March 1,086,457.41
2010April 1,072,606.34
2010May 1,056,748.38
2010June 1,063,633.00
2010July 1,076,922.08
2010August 1,094,707.85
2010September 1,125,394.92
2010October 1,153,171.25
2010November 1,227,639.10
2010December 1,378,134.43
2009January 1,064,615.10
2009February 1,024,200.60
2009March 1,037,766.10
2009April 1,048,137.40
2009May 1,026,915.45
2009June 1,006,598.85
2009July 1,008,282.40
2009August 1,019,428.20
2009September 1,031,852.00
2009October 1,020,135.10
2009November 1,108,617.30
2009December 1,181,541.93
2008January 865,935.00
2008February 866,677.60
2008March 891,816.90
2008April 898,903.70
2008May 916,902.20
2008June 918,282.91
2008July 936,858.50
2008August 948,262.70
2008September 976,362.30
2008October 966,136.90
2008November 988,182.48
2008December 1,155,566.80
2007January 705,163.80
2007February 704,584.80
2007March 727,411.20
2007April 766,011.70
2007May 742,810.40
2007June 714,955.60
2007July 714,343.10
2007August 717,704.50
2007September 722,306.91
2007October 755,643.41
2007November 790,177.10
2007December 960,774.41
2006January 572,747.40
2006February 561,626.40
2006March 563,713.00
2006April 610,130.30
2006May 611,224.30
2006June 602,829.00
2006July 606,859.50
2006August 609,346.60
2006September 615,140.90
2006October 629,511.20
2006November 669,521.00
2006December 779,254.20
2005January 522,328.00
2005February 502,510.50
2005March 512,839.30
2005April 505,064.00
2005May 495,631.20
2005June 494,944.30
2005July 501,726.90
2005August 507,967.50
2005September 513,373.40
2005October 520,458.20
2005November 547,297.20
2005December 642,388.20
2004January 480,175.00
2004February 465,705.90
2004March 466,494.40
2004April 461,326.20
2004May 454,376.10
2004June 456,306.80
2004July 457,159.40
2004August 459,707.40
2004September 457,977.60
2004October 459,390.60
2004November 493,522.50
2004December 545,803.00
2003January 441,311.00
2003February 434,747.00
2003March 435,138.60
2003April 472,750.30
2003May 449,923.20
2003June 445,156.20
2003July 438,432.50
2003August 439,678.30
2003September 434,581.90
2003October 440,692.90
2003November 451,111.10
2003December 502,254.50
2002January 382,148.20
2002February 377,453.10
2002March 371,129.60
2002April 377,085.70
2002May 363,246.00
2002June 354,374.60
2002July 355,100.50
2002August 356,527.30
2002September 371,962.10
2002October 385,066.90
2002November 409,275.80
2002December 463,153.00
2001January 305,922.40
2001February 305,285.10
2001March 320,273.80
2001April 333,567.40
2001May 336,287.70
2001June 340,914.60
2001July 343,924.70
2001August 342,070.60
2001September 344,165.60
2001October 348,057.40
2001November 361,941.50
2001December 403,506.00
2000January 199,746.50
2000February 193,939.30
2000March 197,821.00
2000April 201,024.50
2000May 200,854.20
2000June 203,993.30
2000July 213,697.60
2000August 227,885.60
2000September 234,241.30
2000October 244,832.70
2000November 268,310.80
2000December 310,496.30

Nairametrics Research team tracks, collates, maintains and manages a rich database of macro-economic and micro-economic data from Nigeria and Africa. Our analysts share some of the data collated on Nairametrics, using formats such as docs, tables and charts etc. The team also publishes research based analysis as articles on a regular basis.

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Corporate Nigeria spends N31.22 billion on travel expenses in 2020

According to data obtained by Nairametrics Research, travel expenses of major corporations in Nigeria dipped by 36.97% in 2020.



Corporate Nigeria represented by the largest listed companies on the Nigerian Stock Exchange experienced a reduction in business travel expenses in the year 2020.

According to data obtained from the audited financial statements of the top 30 companies listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) known as the NSE-30 and verified by Nairametrics Research, travel expenses dipped by 36.97% from N49.54 billion recorded in 2019 to N31.22 billion in 2020.

Travel expenses include flight tickers, hotel expenses, cost of renting and maintaining private jets, local interstate and intrastate transportation etc.

  • Of the 30 companies considered, only 3 of them increased their travel expenses in 2020. Notably, Guinness increased its travel expenses by 283.1% from N261.4 million to N1 billion in the review period.
  • Nascon Allied Industries and Presco Plc incurred a sum of N91.8 million and N2.02 billion in travel expenses, representing a 125.2% and 33.7% increase respectively.
  • On the other hand, MTN Nigeria recorded the highest decline in travel expenses, reduced by 79.9% to stand at N964 million as against N4.79 billion recorded in 2019. Stanbic IBTC followed with a decline of 60.95% to stand at N676 million.
  • It is worth noting, that some companies were not included in this study as they did not disclose their travel expenses during the period under review.

READ: Banks earn N216 billion in E-banking income amidst threat from challenger banks

Why the drop?

The drop in travel expenses was expected as the entire private sector experienced a lockdown for most parts of the year due to Covid-19. The Federal Government introduced movement restrictions on land, sea, and air commute in response to the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

  • This resulted in the cancellation of business travel expenses across the commercial and political nerve centres of the country. Bearing the brunt of this cut in expenses were airlines, hotels, and the entire travel industry who suffered massive revenue losses.
  • The travel industry has been one of the worst-hit sectors due to the COVID-19 outbreak with lockdowns, travel bans, restrictions, and quarantines, which have had a severe impact on business travel for corporate entities in Nigeria.
  • High travel cost implications, hotel rates, and reduction of airline services also made companies resort to phasing out in-person meetings and business travel, as it is more affordable and productive to go digital.
  • The deployment of technology has helped companies cut their travel expenses since part of the key reasons for business travel is for conferences, meeting suppliers and customers. Going forward, video calls show strong potential to replace in-person meetings, resulting in fewer business travels.
  • Additionally, business travels that are meant for training and other learning activities can be done through e-learning.
  • The consistency of corporate entities in adopting technology by going digital will likely continue to reduce business travel expenses of corporations in the country.

READ: Nigerian corporates spend N1 trillion on capital investment in 2020

Gains and losses

On the flip side, online virtual work from home tools such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom recorded massive revenue boost as the private sector and even government relied on them to connect with clients, employees and other stakeholders.

  • Unfortunately, Nigerian businesses, particularly the tech sector failed to take advantage of the travails of the hospitality sector losing much of this revenue to the likes of Microsoft, Google, Netflix, and Zoom. Nevertheless, other Nigerian tech companies, especially in the entertainment, payment, savings and loans space all recorded a significant boost in topline revenues.

The top 5 spenders

The increase or drop in travel expenses for some of the companies under review suggests the approach management took in response to the Covid-19 lockdown. While some reacted by going completely remote as indicative of their numbers, others continued spending, perhaps due to an inefficient cost structure that could not be scaled down despite the imposed lockdown.


Access Bank (N7.15 billion)

Access Bank Plc spent a total of N7.15 billion on business travel expenses in 2020, representing a reduction of 31.9% compared to N10.5 billion recorded in the previous year.

  • The tier-1 bank accounted for 22.9% of the total travel expenses incurred by the top 30 companies on the NSE.
  • The bank’s total asset as of December 2020, stood at N8.67 trillion, representing the highest on the NSE.

UBA (N4.94 billion)

United Bank for Africa incurred a sum of N4.94 billion on business travels in the year 2020. Its travel expenses reduced by 30.1% compared to N7.06 billion recorded in 2019.

  • Its expenses accounted for 15.8% of the total recorded by companies under consideration.
  • UBA recorded a growth of 27.7% in profit after tax from N89.1 billion recorded in 2019 to N113.8 billion in 2020.

FBN Holdings (N3.51 billion)

FBN Holdings the parent company of First Bank of Nigeria, one of the major financial institutions in the country, spent a total of N3.51 billion on travel expenses in the year under review.

  • The tier-1 bank reduced its business travel expenses by 48.24% from N6.78 billion recorded in 2019 to N3.51 billion.
  • Also, FBN Holdings accounted for 11.2% of the total business travel expense of the companies under consideration.
  • It is worth noting that FBN Holdings classified its travel expenses as passages and travels.


Dangote Cement (N2.11 billion)

The most capitalized company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, valued at N3.7 trillion spent a total of N2.11 billion on business travel expenses in 2020.

  • The foremost cement manufacturer in Nigeria recorded a 13.8% decline in travel expenses from N2.45 billion recorded in 2019 to stand at N2.11 billion in 2020.

Presco Plc (N2.02 billion)

Presco Plc, a fully-integrated agro-industrial establishment specializing in the cultivation, extraction, refining, and fractionation of crude palm oil into finished products, spent a total of N2.02 billion on travel expenses in 2020.

Jaiz bank

Its travel expenses in 2020, represent a 33.71% increase compared to N1.51 billion recorded in the previous year.

  • It also accounted for 6.5% of the total travel expenses recorded by the companies under consideration.

Bubbling under

  • Zenith Bank – N1.88 billion
  • Seplat – N1.26 billion
  • Guinness – N1 billion
  • MTN Nigeria – N964 million
  • Fidelity Bank – N964 million

Note: Fidelity Bank classified its expenses as travelling and accommodation, while MTN Nigeria as Trainings, travels and entertainment cost.

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Research Analysis

GSM Telcos lose N1.1 billion to SIM Card registration ban

Nairametrics Research conducted an analysis of the likely losses incurred by GSM Companies due to the SIM Card registration ban.



pre-registered sim cards

The four major telco players in Nigeria have lost a total of 11.8 million customers since the implementation of NIN-SIM card ban by the federal government in December 2020. This is according to information obtained from the Nigerian Communications Commission.

Specifically, the total subscriber base of the four major telco firms in Nigeria, reduced from 207.58 million at the end of November 2020 to 195.73 million in February 2021. This represents a 5.71% decline within the space of three months.

The decline in the number of telco subscribers could be attributed to the suspension of Sim card sales and registration as Nigerians grapple with the stress of registering and obtaining their national identity cards.

READ: Telecom operators say 21 million subscribers are still without NINs

Big losers


  • Airtel lost a total of 5.8 million subscribers between December 2020 and February 2021, representing about 10.1% decline in their subscriber base.
  • At the end of November 2020, Airtel had a total mobile subscriber base of 57.23 million, which had dropped to 51.43 million at the end of February 2021.
  • Similarly, the internet subscriber base also reduced by 1.57 million within the same period to stand at 39.9 million subscribers.

READ: NCC suspends sale of new SIM, activation to audit database


  • Between December 2020 and February 2021, MTN Nigeria lost a total of 4.67 million subscribers. This represents a 5.7% reduction in mobile subscribers.
  • At the end of February 2021, MTN had 77.35 million mobile subscribers, which accounts for 39.5% of the total subscriber base in the country.
  • In the same vein, a total of 2.92 million internet subscribers were lost by MTN in the same period.

The others, 9mobile and Globacom also suffered from the ban on sim registering and sales as they lost a total of 415,170 and 909,955 mobile subscribers within three months, representing 3.1% and 1.7% decline in their customer base respectively.


READ: NCC set to probe telcos over N165 billion debt 

SIM Card Revenue Loses

Nairametrics Research conducted an analysis of the likely losses incurred by GSM Companies due to the SIM Card registration ban. A cursory look at historic data shows that Nigerian GSM companies recorded an average of 2.32 million additional subscribers each month for the first 10 months of 2020. Assuming the same incremental rate at a selling price of N100 per new sim card, these GSM Telcos may have lost about N1.1 billion in sim card sales between December 2020 and April 2021 due to the ban.

  • However, based on available data from the company’s results, both MTN and Airtel recorded positive growth in gross earnings in 2020 but the decline in customer base and crunch in revenue sources could affect their ability to generate as much revenue in 2021.
  • MTN Nigeria recorded a 15.1% year-on-year increase in its annual gross revenue as it earned a sum of N1.3 trillion in 2020. It also recorded voice sales increase of 5.6% in 2019, while it posted a profit after tax of N205.2 billion in the period under review.
  • On the other hand, Airtel Africa’s 9 months financials, revealed that the telco giant boosted its revenue by 13.01% to stand $2.85 million while profit before tax for the period was $482 million, a 3.79% year-on-year decline.
  • Globacom and 9Mobile are not listed companies so the details of their results are not made public.

READ: USSD N42 billion debt: Telcos insist banks have to pay, seek CBN, NCC intervention

What you should know about NIN-SIM ban

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, on the 1st of April 2021, announced the further extension for the deadline of NIN-SIM linkage to the 6th of May 2021.

  • However, according to the minister, over 51 million people have been assigned their National Identification Number and many others who have enrolled are in the process of being assigned NINs.
  • The current number of monthly enrolments has increased significantly to about 2.6 million registrations. He also stated that the number of enrollment centres across the country has witnessed a remarkable increase, with 3,800 centres available for enrolment.
  • It is worth noting that the federal government has lifted the ban on new sim card registration. However, only those who have registered for their NIMC and have obtained their National Identity Number can register new sim cards.
  • On the other hand, telco operators in Lagos State, the commercial hub of the country, revealed last week that they are yet to receive approval to commence the registration of new SIM cards, despite the federal government lifting the ban.

READ: NCC records 95.7m invalid SIM registration, crooked operators to face prosecution

Bottom line

It is evident that the NIN-SIM exercise has affected Nigerians, as the process of obtaining the National Identification Number proved stressful and costly in the early stages. However, Nigerian telcos are expected to also bear the brunt, as revenue growth could be hampered as a result of the temporary ban on sim card registration.

Jaiz bank

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