The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has issued a cautionary alert to both banks and the public today, urging vigilance against counterfeit banknotes, particularly higher denominations that are currently being used in transactions within food markets and other commercial hubs across the country.
As outlined by the Apex Bank, it is deemed a punishable offense by imprisonment for any person to falsify, make, or counterfeit any bank note or coin issued by the CBN.
The CBN has noted the circulation of counterfeit banknotes, especially in higher denominations, within food markets and commercial centres across major cities. Emphasizing this, Section 20(4) of the CBN Act (2007), as amended, specifies that the falsification, production, or counterfeiting of any banknote or coin issued by the Bank, recognized as legal tender in Nigeria, is an offense punishable by a minimum imprisonment term of five years.
The CBN is actively collaborating with relevant security and financial agencies to identify and confiscate counterfeit Naira banknotes, as well as apprehend and prosecute those involved in counterfeiting. The public is encouraged to report any suspicions of counterfeit Naira notes to the nearest police station, a CBN branch, or via contact email@example.com.
Furthermore, the CBN urges Deposit Money Banks, Financial Houses, Bureau de Change, and the general public to heighten vigilance and adopt necessary precautions to prevent the acceptance and circulation of counterfeit notes. Additionally, the public is advised to embrace alternative payment methods and electronic channels for day-to-day transactions to reduce the risk of counterfeit banknotes spreading.
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