Abuse Naira and go to jail – CBN


The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has ordered the Deposit Money banks, DMBs, and the general public Nigerians to desist from abusing Naira notes. The apex bank said the DMBs, other financial institutions and the general public should stop the acts writing/graffiti, mutilating, stapling the Naira, tearing or making hole of any kind, spraying, soiling, matching or any other act injurious to the Naira.

In its Clean Note Policy report published on its website, the CBN said offenders shall be liable to a fine of N50,000 or six months imprisonment or both under the provision of Section 21 of the CBN Act, 2007. The bank also promised to ensure continuous circulation of banknotes that are of good quality.

The bank promised to carry out public sensitisation from time to time to enlighten the public and other cash users on proper handling of the Naira banknotes. “Promote and maintain public confidence in the legal tender currency. Stop the practice of re-circulating dirty notes by DMBs as it contributes to the poor quality of notes in circulation. Educate the public on the basic security features of the banknotes so as to distinguish genuine notes from counterfeits. Underscore the importance of the currency as a symbol of national unity and heritage.

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“Conduct training for security agencies and cash handlers using educational materials such as digital tools, instructional CD-ROM etc. Sustain the campaign against the abuse of the Naira. Establish mutual partnerships with the DMBs, cash handlers, security agencies and the public as stakeholders in currency management,” it said.

According to the report, to ensure that the banknotes in circulation are clean and of good quality, DMBs would ensure that they process their banknotes using registered processing companies and classifies them into fit and unfit. It stated that any counterfeit notes discovered are to be returned to CBN. “Only the banknotes which have been authenticated (i.e. verified free from counterfeit and unfit notes according to CBN standard) will be issued over the counter by banks or through their cash dispensing machines.

“Unfit banknotes shall not be re-circulated by DMBs. However, a penal charge of N12,000 per box, or any amount determined by the management of the bank, shall apply for the deposit of unsorted banknotes. In addition, penalties as may be determined by the bank, shall apply for the recirculation of unfit banknotes.

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“The Clean Note Policy aims at ensuring that the banknotes in circulation are of high quality to guarantee public confidence in the Naira banknotes. This document will be periodically reviewed and updated by the Central Bank of Nigeria.”

Section 2 of the CBN Act, 2007 vests the issuance of legal tender currency on the CBN. The task entails design (including security features), production, and distribution of newly printed notes and fit notes as well as replacement of unfit banknotes which are destroyed or older series withdrawn from circulation. The Bank also has responsibility to preserve the integrity of the Naira and thereby sustain public confidence in the legal tender currency.

To attain the objectives, the quality of the Naira banknotes in circulation must be maintained in good condition to ensure that they could be processed by approved processing systems and freely accepted by the general public for payment and settlement of transactions.

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