The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disclosed that it is working with the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) to bring to justice individuals who abuse the naira.
The CBN warned those involved in such actions to desist as it was working closely with the NPF and others to enforce a provision of its activities, which prohibits “spraying of, dancing or matching on the naira”.
Section 21(3) of the CBN 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 an abuse and defacing of the naira or such note and shall be punishable under the law by fines or imprisonment or both.”
A statement signed by the Acting Director, Corporate Communications of the apex bank, said: “The attention of the 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.”
It warned Nigerians to desist from disrespecting “the legal tender and symbol of national pride” or risk being arrested by law enforcement agencies.
There have been videos of famous Nigerians, including politicians who had subjected naira notes to similar abuse before the recent Obi Cubana incident.
Naira notes have also become items of trade at garages and parks in different parts of the country, especially during festive periods. Those who trade in the currency, target individuals attending social events such as weddings and burials.