The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the police are set to arrest and prosecute abusers of the naira.
In a statement, the apex bank’s Acting Director, Corporate Communications,Osita Nwanisobi, said: “There have also been cases where people mishandle the Naira, deface it, hawk the currency at parties and reject the currency in some instances.
“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.”
The CBN described the practice as unpatriotic. The CBN pointed to Section 21(3) of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act 2007 (As amended), which empowers it to go after those “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 then warn Nigerians 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,” it added.