The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has expressed displeasure over the activities of persons, who flagrantly abuse the Nigerian Naira by hurling wads of currency notes in the air and stamping on them at social functions.
The CBN in a statement issued yesterday, said, it would partner some relevant government agencies, including the Police to prosecute those who engage in debasing the legal tender.
The CBN observed there have also been cases where people mishandle the Naira, deface it, hawk the currency at parties and reject the currency in some instances.
“It should be stated that, contrary to the practice of these unpatriotic persons, it is neither cultural nor moral, for people to disrespect the currency which citizens trade in,” CBN’s Ag. director, corporate communications, Osita Nwanisobi said in a statement that was issued yesterday.
Section 21(3) of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act 2007 (As amended) stipulates that “spraying of, dancing or matching on the Naira or any note issued by the Bank during social occasions or otherwise howsoever shall constitute an abuse and defacing of the Naira or such note and shall be punishable under the law by fines or imprisonment or both.”
Accordingly, the apex bank announced that it is collaborating with the Nigeria Police, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) to address the practice.
“We therefore warn Nigerians, particularly those at social functions such as birthdays, weddings and funerals, to desist from disrespecting the Naira or risk being arrested by law enforcement agencies. The Naira is our legal tender and symbol of national pride. Let us respect it and handle it with care,” Nwanisobi said in the statement.