A lot of us must have observed the Arabic inscriptions on our Naira notes.
Quite a number of persons might have asked the question, Why is Arabic in-scripted on our Naira note, is Nigeria an Islamic Nation?” The answer is a categorical NO, Nigeria is not an Islamic Nation.
The reason we have Arabic inscriptions on our Naira can be traced back to history.
As we all know, Nigeria was colonized by the British, of which the foremost colonial administrator was Lord Luguard, who had spent a lot of time in Northern Nigeria:
He was the first commander of the West African frontier force 1897-99
High commissioner of northern Nigeria 1899-1906
Governor of the protectorates of Northern and southern Nigeria 1912-1914
1st governor general of post-amalgamation Nigeria 1914-1919.
The first paper currency to be used in Nigeria was the West African Pound, it was introduced in 1912 and it had Arabic inscriptions on it.
The Hausa language is spoken throughout West Africa i.e Nigeria, Niger, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Ivory Coast etc. It is the most popular language in sub-Sahara Africa.
What is the connection with Arabic?
Long before the British came to Africa, the Hausa people traded with the Arabs, and the Arabs taught them how to read and write in Arabic.
They also developed Ajami, an Arabic derived system of writing where Arabic letters are used to write the Hausa Language.