The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has warned Nigerians against abusing the Naira notes. Mr. Samuel Shuaibu, an official in the Currency Operation Department of the CBN disclosed this in Calabar, Cross River State during the commencement of a ‘CBN Fair’ to sensitize residents in the state on the appropriate use of the Naira notes. Shuaibu said that the abuse of the Naira was not in line with the CBN’s policy, adding that offenders would henceforth be arrested and prosecuted.
“The CBN spent a lot of money in the printing of this naira notes. We urge Nigerians to respect the naira and value it. Anyone caught abusing the naira will risk a jail term of six months or pay a fine of N50, 000.”
What law gives the CBN this authority ?
Sections 20 and 21 of the CBN Act 2007 empower it to arrest and prosecute anyone who mutilates the Naira. Section 21 of the Act states that a Naira note would have been deemed mutilated if it has been amended in any manner. The Act specifically mentions that spraying and stepping on the notes as offences.
Other reasons why the CBN may have embarked on this
The CBN spends billions of Naira on an annual basis to replace worn out notes, A reduction in the number of notes damaged, thus leads to savings.
Why the law may be difficult to implement
The bank may have its work cut out in terms of implementing the law, because such actions are deeply engrained in the Nigerian society. Those who most often break the law are the well to do,who the bank may be unwilling to prosecute.