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Monday, July 17, 2017

Central Bank of Nigeria warns against Naira mutilation

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said that hawking, mutilation and spraying of naira notes at parties constitute an affront to the nation. CBN’s acting Director, Corporate Communications, Mr Isaac Okorafor has therefore called on Nigerians to treat the naira with respect. 

He said that under no circumstance should the naira be squeezed or reduced to a piece of paper for writing or jotting. Okoroafor said that the naira had value and should be treated with respect because it was a symbol of national sovereignty.

“It is unfortunate that Nigerians do not take pride in symbols of our national sovereignty. The naira is a symbol of our National sovereignty. We have embarked on sensitisation across the nation and we have gone to 28 states of the federation in the last one year trying to tell Nigerians how to identify fake Naira notes, counterfeits notes and how to handle the naira with care".

“In some cases, we have distributed wallets so that people can put in their money neatly. For us, it is so frustrating that not many Nigerians are listening to it. We spend a lot of money printing these bank notes and we print a bank note, release a bank note on a Friday, people go to parties they dance on them. They go to churches and mosque, they squeeze it and put for offering and by Monday it is already old and mutilated and we spend hundreds of billions of Naira to print these notes. It is so unfortunate,’’ he said.

Okorafor said the CBN, using “Clean Naira Policy’’ campaign, would continue to sensitise the people to stop squeezing the Naira and using it as a piece of paper to write things. On hawking and sale of newly printed Naira notes popular known as “mints’’, Okorafor said that the apex bank was working in collaboration with the police to stop the illegal practice.

Section 20 and 21 of the CBN Act stated that whoever sells, buys, sprays and squeeze the naira will be imprisoned for 6 months or given an option of N50,000 fine or both.

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