The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has alarm over the circulation of counterfeit banknotes especially higher denominations by some individuals for transactions in food markets and other commercial centres in some major cities across the country.
This disclosure is contained in a press statement issued by CBN’s Acting Director for Corporate Communications, Mrs Hakama Sidi Ali, on Friday, December 8, 2023.
Sidi Ali in the statement warned that it is a punishable offence by a term of imprisonment of not less than 5 years for any person to falsify or counterfeit any bank note or coin issued by the CBN.
The apex bank said that it is in constant collaboration with relevant security and financial agencies to confiscate these fake naira notes as well as arrest and prosecute the culprits.
The statement from CBN reads, ‘’The attention of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been drawn to the circulation of counterfeit banknotes, especially higher denominations, by some individuals for transactions in food markets and other commercial centres across major cities in the country.
For the avoidance of doubt, Section 20(4) of the CBN Act (2007) as amended, states that:
“It shall be an offence punishable by a term of imprisonment of not less than 5 years for any person to falsify, make or counterfeit any bank note or coin issued by the Bank which is legal tender in Nigeria.”
‘’The CBN is in constant collaboration with relevant security and financial agencies to confiscate fake Naira banknotes, arrest and prosecute counterfeiters. Members of the public are also encouraged to report anyone suspected of having counterfeit naira notes to the nearest police station, branch of the Central Bank of Nigeria or via email@example.com.
It added, ‘’Meanwhile, all Deposit Money Banks, Financial Houses and Bureau de Change and the general public are enjoined to be more vigilant and take all necessary precautionary measures to curtail the acceptance and distribution of counterfeit notes.
‘’Furthermore, the general public is encouraged to embrace alternative modes of payment, echannels, for day-to-day transactions to mitigate the risk of spreading counterfeit banknotes.’’