The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has cautioned members of the public against ill handling of the nation’s currency, adding “that if you are hawking and abusing naira, you will pay fine of N50,000 or risk six months imprisonment or both.”
According to the Assistant Director, Currency Operations Department of the apex bank, Benedict Maduagwu, the cost of maintaining the naira note was expensive.
Maduagwu, who made this known in Lagos on Friday while addressing the media at the ongoing CBN Fair with the theme, “Promoting Financial Stability and Economic Development”, said presently, the huge cost of currency management in the country has grown more than that N192 billion in recent times.
Daily Sun quoted him as saying: “CBN is promoting the cashless policy because we discovered that the way currency is being handled and abused could cause some diseases. So the efforts in the cashless policy and also the public sensitisation is to tell people how to handle our naira, how to carry clean naira; these are all aimed at reducing the huge cost of currency management.
“In the recent times, we have carried out what we call sting operations on those that illegally hawk our naira, which is a crime. The CBN’s stand is very clear, that if you are hawking and abusing naira, you will pay fine of N50,000 or risk six months imprisonment or both.”
“The way currency is being handled, it is being abused and the cost is huge. As at 2005 to 2010, it was over N192 billion and as i speak it is more than that.”
According to him, there are interventions under the CBN, which are promoting the wellbeing and also diversifying the economy like the Anchor Borrowers Scheme.
He added: “We have N220 billion MSME intervention scheme and about 60 per cent of it is reserved for women. We also have it for the crippled, we also have the youth development empowerment programme, which has to do with corps members that have served. They can access it and have N3 million as part of efforts to reduce unemployment in the country.”