The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has urged Nigerians to embrace alternative means of payment for their daily transactions as it raises alarm over the increased circulation of fake naira notes.
In a statement on Friday, the spokesperson of the apex bank, Sidi Ali Hakama, detailed that counterfeit banknotes, especially the higher denominations, are currently circulating in food markets and other commercial centers across the country.
Naija News reports that the apex bank urged Deposit Money Banks and other financial institutions to be more vigilant and take necessary measures to curtail the circulation of these fake bank notes.
The statement by CBN read: “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 protected].
“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.”