The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has stated that it is unable to execute laws against those who violate the bank’s currency or financial guidelines.
This was disclosed at a weekend meeting with organized labour in Calabar, Cross River State, where the apex bank presented its five-year financial policy for 2019 to 2024.
The reaction was prompted by reports of people spraying cash banknotes during ceremonies. Osita Nwanisobi, the Bank’s interim Director of Corporate Communications, who was representing the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, claimed the top bank does not have the authority to enforce sanctions.
He said, “CBN is not a law enforcement agency. But we completely frown at such an attitude where the national currency is not accorded its due respect as other nationals do their currencies”.
He issued a strong warning against misusing, defacing, or roughing up the naira, claiming that the federal government spends a lot of money to print it and that the expense is generally passed on to the people in the long run.
What this means
The act of spraying money, although embedded in the Nigerian party culture, is a violation of the Federal Government’s law against defacing the naira note.
The CBN’s aim is to boost confidence in the naira and is strongly against situations that depict the naira in a less valuable light. However, the CBN does not have the power to enforce this law and may need further collaboration with other agencies such as the Police and EFCC.
What you should know
Following the lavish spraying of cash at the burial ceremony of the mother of popular Nigerian businessman and socialite, Obi Iyiegbu, a.k.a Obi Cubana, there have been renewed calls for the CBN and other security agencies to arrest and prosecute culprits.