Naira abuse: Offenders to face 6 months’ imprisonment and N50,000 fine as CBN sets up mobile court

Naira abuse: Offenders to face 6 months’ imprisonment and N50,000 fine as CBN sets up mobile court

- The CBN said it is set to come hard on abusers of naira notes

- The national bank, in collaboration with the Bankers’ Committee, said it will set up mobile courts to punish violators

- Offenders of the naira notes are to face 6 months’ imprisonment or N50,000 fine or both

Nigerian bankers have reportedly expressed their readiness to enforce the law against the abuse of naira notes by setting up mobile courts to punish violators of the currency.

The Punch reports that they said this during a press briefing after the Bankers’ Committee meeting in Lagos on Thursday, October 4. gathers that the bankers said they also resolved at the meeting that the discretionary bank reserves built up over time should be channeled towards agriculture and the manufacturing sectors in an impactful manner.

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They explained that the measures will enhance local food sufficiency and reduce the pressure on the country’s foreign reserves.

Speaking further on the currency abuse, the director of Corporate Communications Department, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Isaac Okorafor, said that anyone found squeezing, hawking, spraying or trampling on naira notes at any ceremony would be arrested and tried at the mobile courts.

He stated: “We realised that it costs a lot of money to print the Nigerian naira notes; we also realised that the CBN Act, 2007 forbids any action by anybody either by spraying or squeezing or trampling upon it, writing on it, or hawking it.

“That Act makes it punishable by six months’ imprisonment, or the offender pays a fine of N50,000 or both. And so, it is not only hawking it, but also if at a party, somebody dances upon the money or sprays it, that person automatically goes to jail from that reception. So, Nigerians should bear that in mind and we are serious about it.”

According to him, the CBN is collaborating with relevant agencies of government, Ministry of Justice, the judiciary and the Nigeria Police Force on enforcement.

“It is the duty of the law enforcement agencies to catch offenders and take them to court, and we have been collaborating with the Nigeria Police Force on this mobile court, and that collaboration will be intensified," he added.

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Meanwhile, previously reported that the CBN vowed to revoke the operating licences of not less than 182 microfinance institutions across the federation.

The CBN in a list released on Wednesday, September 26, said about 154 microfinance banks, including six mortgage banks, and other finance companies will be affected.

About 62 of the microfinance banks had already closed down, 74 of them are insolvent while 12 are terminally distressed. Similarly, six of the financial firms are voluntary liquidated.

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