The Director, Corporate Communications of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Osita Nwanisobi has threatened to arrest and prosecute anyone who abuses the Nigerian Naira in Public.
The CBN issued the warning on Monday against spraying or stepping on the nation’s currency at public events.
The statement, signed by the Nwanisobi, 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, Section 21(3) of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act 2007 (As amended) 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 abuse and defacing of the Naira or such note and shall be punishable under the law by fines or imprisonment or both.
“Accordingly, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is 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.”