Ex CBN Deputy Governor Obadiah Mailafia, at a public hearing on the 2017 budget held by the National Assembly stated that 20% of the currency in circulation was fake. The CBN is yet to come out with a re-joinder.
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Anecdotally, the currencies usually faked are the highest denominations namely 500 naira and 1000 naira notes. This is not a recent occurrence. The apex bank and indeed the government appears to be tardy with the situation. Suspects are arrested, displayed before the cameras. Then the case fizzles out.
In advanced countries like the United States, counterfeiting a currency is an offence that leads to heavy jail time. The CBN must also be proactive. The United States changes security features in dollar notes every two years. Sometimes redesigning all notes. Here, such changes are so slow, the criminals have time to prepare. There appears to be a human capacity problem in the CBN. One hopes, it is addressed immediately.