The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has raised an alarm about the circulation of fake banknotes, particularly higher denominations, in food markets and commercial centers across major cities in the country.
In a statement by CBN’s Acting Director for Corporate Communications, Mrs Hakama Sidi Ali, issued on Friday, December 8, 2023, it warns that individuals using counterfeit currency could face a minimum of 5 years imprisonment.
CBN says it is committed to collaborating with security and financial agencies to seize fake Naira notes and apprehend those responsible for counterfeiting.
The statement further urges the public to report suspected counterfeit notes to the police, the nearest CBN branch, or through [email protected]
While calling on Deposit Money Banks, Financial Houses, Bureau de Change, and the general public to heighten vigilance and implement necessary precautions, the CBN says the public is encouraged to adopt alternative payment methods, such as electronic channels, for day-to-day transactions to minimize the risk of spreading fake banknotes.
This it said, is to prevent the acceptance and distribution of counterfeit currency.
Section 20(4) of the CBN Act (2007) declares it an offense punishable by at least 5 years imprisonment to falsify or counterfeit any banknote or coin issued by the Bank and recognized as legal tender in Nigeria.