The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has released a circular to all Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) on ‘Penalty for payment of counterfeit monies from ATMs, Teller Points’.
In the circular, the CBN made known that it has imposed a penalty fee of N1 million to each branch of DMBs for non-compliance with its ‘Banknote fitness guidelines and clean note policy documents for the industry.’
According to the apex bank, the enforcement of the sanction would take effect after the launch of the two policy documents at a date which would be communicated to all stakeholders.
The circular read, “The management of the CBN has observed with concern the incidences of counterfeits paid through some DMBs’ ATMs/Teller points. This situation has continued unabated despite moral suasion to the affected DMBs.
“To address this, among others, the CBN in collaboration with key currency management stakeholders developed ‘Banknote fitness guidelines and clean note policy documents for the industry.”
“In order to sustain public confidence in the national currency and ensure compliance with the provisions of the policy documents, the CBN said it approved the, “Spot checks on DMBs’ ATMs and Teller points to ensure compliance; and imposition of penal fee of N1m per branch of DMBs for non-compliance.”
Prior to this, the CBN had made known its plans to establish mobile courts in partnership with law enforcement agencies and the judiciary, with the intention of combating the rising incidents of naira hawking and other forms of crimes against Nigeria’s legal tender.
The decision was reached in Lagos at the end of a Bankers’ Committee meeting last year, which was attended by CBN’s Director of Banking Supervision, Ahmed Abdullahi, and Isaac Okorafor, Director of Corporate Communications at the CBN.
Speaking during the meeting, Ambah stated that the Bankers’ Committee came up with the mobile court idea as a means to quickly prosecute and jail those found guilty naira hawking offenses.