The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says any Nigerian caught destroying or spraying banknotes will go to minimum five years imprisonment.
It added that destroying and spraying of banknotes is rampant among Nigerians and it is a criminal offence and the offender will be made to face the wrath of law.
It assured marketers, merchants, shopping malls and supermarkets of the bank’s continuous injection of huge volumes of banknotes into the circulation.
The development, according to the Acting Director, Currency Operations Department, CBN, Mrs. Priscilla Eleje, was to preserve the pride of the country and ease difficulties being encountered by the traders and customers occasioned by the inadequate circulation of the lower denomination banknotes like N200, N100, N50, N20, N10 and N5.
Mrs. Eleje, who was represented at the public sensitsation and enlightenment campaign at Alesinloye market by a Deputy Director of the bank, Mrs. Olufolake Ogundero, added that the bank recognises the important role markets play in economic transaction, hence the need for ease accessibility of the lower denominations to carry out economic transactions.
She said: “It is a criminal offence punishable by six months imprisonment or a fine of N50,000 or both to sell, spray or mutilate the banknotes. It is also a criminal offence which attracts five years imprisonment without an option of fine for anybody to counterfeit the naira. Naira is our pride as a country. So, respect it.”