The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed deposit money banks (DMBs) to commence the payment of the redesigned Naira notes over the counter, subject to a maximum daily payout limit of N20,000.
The CBN also said it will ensure the prosecution of individuals who hawk or abuse the Naira.
This followed the release of videos of some Nigerians spraying bundles of the scarce newly redesigned notes at a social function.
This is even as the apex bank assured that the present hardship faced by Nigerians with scarcity of cash will soon be over having directed banks to disburse the new Naira notes over the counter.
Director Corporate Communication, CBN, Osita Nwanisobi disclosed this in a statement adding that the apex bank will collaborate with the Nigeria Police, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) to prosecute abuses and sellers of the naira.
The apex bank noted that, it “has observed, with grave concern, the activities of persons who sell the newly redesigned banknotes and those who flagrantly abuse the legal tender by hurling wads of Naira notes in the air and stamping on the currency at social functions.
“We have equally noticed the queues at Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) across the country and an upward trend in the cases of people stocking and aggregating the newly introduced banknotes they serially obtain from ATMs for reasons best known to them.
“While reiterating our commitment to Nigerians to ensure the effective distribution of the newly introduced Naira banknotes, we urge them to exercise patience as the CBN is working assiduously to address the challenge of queues
“In line with this resolve, the governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has directed deposit money banks (DMBs) to commence the payment of the redesigned Naira notes over the counter, subject to a maximum daily payout limit of N20,000.”
The apex bank added that the reported cases of unregistered persons and non-bank officials swapping banknotes for members of the public, purportedly on behalf of the CBN, is worrisome, adding that, “we wish to state unequivocally that, contrary to the practice of these unpatriotic persons, it is unlawful to sell the Naira, hurl (spray), or stamp on the currency under any circumstance whatsoever.”
Naira Swap: Pains Will Soon Be Over, Federal Govt Assures Nigerians
Warning Nigerians against abusing the naira at social functions or risk being arrested by law enforcement agencies, the apex bank said, for avoidance of doubt, Section 21(3) of the Central Bank of Nigeria(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.”
Similarly, Section 21(4) states that, “It shall also be an offence punishable under Sub-section (1) of this section for any person to hawk, sell or otherwise trade in the Naira notes, coins or any other note issued by the Bank.”
Accordingly, 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.
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