FG to arrest, prosecute abusers of naira in social gatherings

THE Federal Government has vowed to prosecute anyone found abusing the Nigerian currency.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said this in a statement by its acting Director Corporate Communication Osita Nwanisobi on Tuesday.

According to the statement, the CBN would collaborate with other sister agencies, including the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), to prosecute those who flagrantly displayed the naira in social gatherings.

He noted that mishandling, defacing and hawking of naira notes at social events violated Section 21(3) of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act 2007 (As amended).

“The attention of the Central Bank of Nigeria has again been drawn to the activities of persons, who flagrantly abuse the legal tender by hurling wads of naira notes in the air and stamping on the currency at social functions.

“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.

“For the avoidance of doubt, 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 abuse, and defacing of the naira or such note shall be punishable under the law by fines or imprisonment or both.



    “Accordingly, the Central Bank of Nigeria is collaborating with the Nigeria Police, Federal Inland Revenue Service, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit to address the unpatriotic practice.”

    Many Nigerians have flagrantly abused the naira at burials, parties and other forms of social gatherings. In the United States and Europe, such practice is forbidden, but it is seen as a demonstration of wealth in Africa, especially Nigeria.

    The CBN warned Nigerians, particularly those at social functions such as birthdays, weddings and funerals, to desist from disrespecting the naira as they risked being arrested by law enforcement agencies.

    It further appealed to Nigerians to treat and handle the naira notes with respect, noting that it was the country’s legal tender and symbol of national pride.


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