Naira abusers risk six months in jail as CBN gives fresh warning

The Central bank of Nigeria has warned that that abusers of the naira at social events risk imprisonment or an imposition of fine.

The CBN noted in a statement issued on Tuesday that according to the bank’s 2007 amended Act, ‘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’

Findings by our correspondent showed that the Act prescribed imprisonment for six months and or a N50,000 fine for anyone defacing or abusing the naira at social functions.

The statement, which was signed by the Acting Director, Corporate Communication, Osita Nwanisobi, was titled ‘CBN, police, others to prosecute abusers of Naira’.

The CBN also warned that abusers of naira notes would be prosecuted by the financial regulator in collaboration with other regulatory bodies such as the Nigeria Police, Federal Inland Revenue Service, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit.

It said that the warning was necessitated by the activities of some people who flagrantly abused the legal tender at social functions.

The statement read in part, “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 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 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.”

The CBN therefore warned 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.

SOURCE: THE PUNCH

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