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CBN To Begin Prosecuting Naira Abusers

By Sola Adeyemi

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has threatened that it would soon start arresting and prosecuting those who abuse the country’s currency.

The Apex bank says the action is targeted Against 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.

CBN’s acting Director of Corporate Commununications, Osita Nwanisobi gave the warning in a statement made available to the media  in Abuja.

The statement noted that 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”, the statement said.

It further disclosed that the CBN is currently 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 unpatriotic 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”, the statement cautioned.

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