The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has cautioned the public against abuse of the country’s currency, describing naira as pride of the nation.
Speaking at the CBN Fair at Dora Akunyili Women Development Centre, Awka, Anambra State, yesterday, the Principal Manager, Currency Operations Department, Mrs. Dorothy Onyene, cautioned traders, farmers and other Nigerians to stop rough-handling the naira notes in circulation.
Onyene frowned on the manner Nigerians mutilate, fold, deface and even use the naira as jotter. She added: “It is a punishable offence to abuse the naira. Defaulters are liable to six months imprisonment and/or N50,000 fine.
“Improper handling of the notes, including mutilation, hawking, squeezing and spraying money at events would not be tolerated.”She urged Anambra residents to respect and keep the naira clean.
According to her, the CBN spends a lot of money to print a single note, adding that such money would have been used for basic infrastructure. She regretted the situation where the same people who abuse the naira would not only reject mutilated naira notes, but also jealously handle other foreign currencies in their custody carefully.
In his welcome address, the Branch Controller, CBN, Awka, Benedict Maduagwu, had said the programme was to sensitise farmers, manufacturers, industrialists and traders, among others, on how to improve their business and encourage growth.
He said it was also targeted at enlightening the public on the various packages of the apex bank and how accessible they were.
Expressed joy that many industrialists had accessed soft loans to improve their businesses, he assured that the event would help build confidence in the nation’s financial system.
“Whatever business you are able to pursue, CBN will support you to grow and help to build confidence in the financial system,” he said.