THE Central Bank has cautioned people who abuse the Nigerian legal tender, naira, advising them to desist from such act or face the wrath of the law.
The apex bank gave the warning in a statement signed by its Acting Director, Corporate Communications on Tuesday and made available to Prime Business Africa.
The statement read, “The attention of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has again been drawn to the activities of persons, who flagrantly abuse the legal tender by hurling wads of naira notes in the air and stamping on the currency at social functions.
“There have also been cases where people mishandle the Naira, deface it, hawk the currency
at parties and reject the currency in some instances. It should be stated that, contrary to the practice of these unpatriotic persons, it is neither cultural nor moral, for people to disrespect the currency which citizens trade in.”
For the avoidance of doubt, the CBN redirected people’s attention to section 21(3) of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act 2007 (As amended) which stipulates that “spraying of, dancing or matching on the naira or any note issued by the bank during social occasions or otherwise howsoever shall constitute an abuse and defacing of the naira or such note and shall be punishable under the law by fines or imprisonment or both.”
The CBN said it would be collaborating with the Nigeria Police, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) to address the unpatriotic practice.
“We therefore warn Nigerians, particularly those at social functions such as birthdays, weddings and funerals to desist from disrespecting the naira or risk being arrested by law enforcement agencies. The naira is our legal tender and symbol of national pride. Let us respect it and handle it with care,” the apex bank stated.