The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has issued a warning to Nigerians concerning the circulation of counterfeit Naira banknotes.
In a statement signed by CBN’s Acting Director of Corporate Communications, Hakama Sidi Ali, titled ‘Beware of Counterfeit Naira Banknotes in Circulation’ released on Friday, the apex bank urged Deposit Money Banks, Financial Houses, Bureau de Change, and the general public to exercise increased vigilance and take necessary precautions.
The CBN emphasized its commitment to collaborating with security operatives to apprehend those involved in the circulation of fake banknotes.
“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,” the statement reads.
“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, or branch of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
“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.”