CBN Warns Over Surge in Fake Naira; Urges Vigilance Amidst Growing Concerns

CBN Warns Over Surge In Fake Naira; Urges Vigilance Amidst Growing Concerns

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In response to the escalating circulation of forged higher denomination banknotes within various commercial hubs across Nigeria, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has issued a warning on the surge in fake naira notes, emphasizing severe penalties for counterfeiting currency.

Expressing deep concern, Mrs Hakama Sidi Ali, Acting Director for Corporate Communications at the CBN, highlighted in a press release on Friday, December 8, 2023, the perilous trend of counterfeit banknotes being utilized in routine transactions, particularly in food markets and major urban centres.

“The CBN is alarmed by the proliferation of counterfeit banknotes, specifically the higher denominations, used in transactions across Nigeria’s commercial landscape,” stated Sidi Ali, underscoring the gravity of the situation.

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Citing Section 20(4) of the CBN Act (2007) as amended, Sidi Ali reiterated the stringent legal repercussions, with a minimum imprisonment term of 5 years for individuals found guilty of counterfeiting currency issued by the CBN.

Emphasizing collaborative efforts with security and financial agencies, the apex bank vowed to intensify measures to seize fake naira notes, apprehend perpetrators, and prosecute them accordingly.

“The CBN remains in close cooperation with pertinent security and financial entities to combat the circulation of counterfeit currency. We urge the public to report any suspected instances to law enforcement or the CBN directly,” the statement from the CBN iterated, urging public vigilance.

Furthermore, the CBN advised financial institutions, including banks, Bureau de Change, and the public, to heighten vigilance, taking essential precautions to prevent the acceptance and dissemination of counterfeit notes.

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In a bid to mitigate the risk associated with counterfeit currency, the CBN encouraged the adoption of alternative payment methods, such as electronic channels, for day-to-day transactions.

The CBN’s alert serves as a clarion call for heightened vigilance and underscores the critical need for collective efforts to combat the surge of fake currency circulating within Nigeria’s financial ecosystem.

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