The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has issued a new directive to deposit money banks (DMBs) to begin over-the-counter payment of the redesigned naira notes.
Osita Nwanisobi, the CBN’s Director Corporate Communication, stated in a statement that it is subject to a daily payout limit of N20,000.
The directive comes on the heels of businesses grinding to a halt due to a lack of redesigned notes after depositing old notes with commercial banks.
The CBN reaffirmed its commitment to Nigerians to ensure the effective distribution of the newly introduced naira banknotes, urging them to be patient as the CBN works tirelessly to address the issue of ATM queues.
Nwanisobi, said the CBN observed with grave concern, the activities of persons who sell the newly redesigned banknotes and those who flagrantly abuse the legal tender by hurling wads of naira notes in the air and stamping on the currency at social functions.
He said: “We have equally noticed the queues at Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) across the country and an upward trend in the cases of people stocking and aggregating the newly introduced banknotes they serially obtain from ATMs for reasons best known to them.
“Also worrisome are the reported cases of unregistered persons and non-bank officials swapping banknotes for members of the public, purportedly on behalf of the CBN.
“We wish to state unequivocally that, contrary to the practice of these unpatriotic persons, it is unlawful to sell the Naira, hurl (spray), or stamp on the currency under any circumstance whatsoever. “
The statement quoted Section 21(4) which states that “It shall also be an offence punishable under Sub-section (1) of this section for any person to hawk, sell or otherwise trade in the Naira notes, coins or any other note issued by the Bank.”
Nwanisobi said the CBN is collaborating with the Nigeria Police, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) to address the unpatriotic practice.
He warned Nigerians, particularly those at social functions such as birthdays, weddings and funerals, to desist from disrespecting the naira or risk being arrested by law enforcement agencies.
He also admonish members of the public to embrace and adopt other payment channels for their transactions.
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