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CBN warns of six month jail term for Naira abuse



The Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) has issued a warning  in Abuja on Tuesday, December 13th that those abusing the naira notes were liable to go to jail. 

It was noted that the law banning the “spraying’’ and the stepping on the Naira, especially at social gatherings is still in force and offenders are liable to six months imprisonment or a fine of N50,000.

Section 21(3) of the CBN Act 2007 provides that mishandling of the naira is a punishable offence.

Principal Manager of the Currency Operations Department at the CBN, Ms Ngozi Etim, re-emphasised this warning when she spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN).

She made it known that the CBN was working in partnership  with the police, the FIRS, the EFCC and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit to curb the abuse the Naira was currently facing. 

She condemned the “spraying’’ of money in public, adding that the envelope remained the best and acceptable means of extending goodwill at events instead of flamboyant displays that ended up destroying the naira. 

“Money should not be squeezed but be put in envelopes. Oil should not be allowed to touch money; keep it neat like you keep your clothes.

“You do not dirty your clothes and you do not keep your clothes on the ground, so, there is a need to keep our naira well,’’ she said.

She added that the CBN Act empowered it to arrest those who abused the Naira.

Etim stressed that the Naira remained  the pride of Nigeria and must be handled as such and kept clean at all times.

In his remarks, CBN’s Director, Corporate Communication, Mr Osita Nwanisobi, urged Nigerians to always treat the naira with care.

Nwanisobi condemned the idea of hurling wads of Naira notes in the air and stamping them on the currency at social functions.

“There have also been cases where people mishandle the naira, deface it, or hawk it at parties.

“Contrary to the practice of these unpatriotic persons, it is neither cultural nor moral for people to disrespect the currency, which citizens trade in,’’ he stressed.

There have been videos of famous Nigerians, including politicians, subjecting the naira to abuse.

Naira notes have also become items of trade at garages and motor parks in different parts of the country, especially during festive periods and during parties. 

The CBN has, however, declared that anybody caught abusing the Naira henceforth would be punished.

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