The Central Bank of Nigeria on Thursday finally bowed to pressure from Nigerians and have directed all Deposit Money Banks to pay the redesigned Naira Notes to customers over the counter.
The directive is contained in a statement issued by the CBN on Thursday,
The statement said the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has directed all Deposit Money Banks to commence the payment of the
redesigned Naira notes over the counter, subject to a maximum daily payout
limit of N20,000.
This is just as the apex bank also expressed grave concern on 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.
It also expressed lamented the long 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.
Also worrisome are the reported cases of unregistered persons and non-bank officials swapping banknotes for members
of the public, purportedly on behalf of the CBN.
Reacting to the development, the CBN in the statement stated 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.
It said, “For the avoidance of doubt, Section 21(3) of the Central Bank of Nigeria 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, 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.
“We, therefore, warn Nigerians, particularly those at social functions such as
birthdays, weddings and funerals, to desist from disrespecting the Naira or risk
being arrested by law enforcement agencies.”
While reiterating it’s commitment to Nigerians to ensure the effective
distribution of the newly introduced Naira banknotes, it urged them to exercise
patience as the CBN is working assiduously to address the challenge of queues
It also also admonished members of the public to embrace and adopt other payment
channels for their transactions.
“The Naira is our legal tender and symbol of national pride. Therefore, let us respect it and handle it with care,” the statement added.