The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Friday cautioned Nigerians against abusing the naira notes, adding that anyone caught abusing the country’s currency would be prosecuted and if convicted the person risked six months in jail or a fine of N50,000.
Mr. Samuel Shuaibu, an official from the Currency Operations Department of the CBN, Abuja, said this in Calabar during the ‘CBN Fair’ and sensitisation campaign for residents in the state on the appropriate use of the naira.
Shuaibu stated that the abuse of the naira was not in line with the CBN’s policy,stressing that offenders would henceforth be arrested and prosecuted.
According to him, the awareness programme was also aimed at sensitising the public on online transfer system, how to identify fake currency notes, how to approach the CBN for complaints, amongst others.
He further lamented the fact that Nigerians accord more respect to the United States Dollar than the naira, saying Nigerians ought to appreciate and value the naira because it serves as a symbol of national identity.
His words: “The naira has suffered abuse from majority of Nigerians. Today, we find some people spraying the naira at occasions, soiling it, writing on it, squeezing it while some are hawking it.
“The CBN spent a lot of money in the printing of these 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.”
He also urged Nigerians to desist from keeping money at home, adding that such money could be gutted by fire or carted away by criminals.