The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said it is collaborating with the police and other law enforcement agencies to arrest and prosecute anyone found abusing the Naira.
Disclosing this in a statement, Ag. Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Osita Nwanisobi said, “The attention of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has again been drawn to the activities of persons, who flagrantly abuse the legal tender by hurling wads of Naira notes in the air and stamping on the currency at social functions.
“There have also been cases where people mishandle the Naira, deface it, hawk the currency at parties and reject the currency in some instances. It should be stated that, contrary to the practice of these unpatriotic persons, it is neither cultural nor moral, for people to disrespect the currency which citizens trade in.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Section 21(3) of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act 2007 (As amended) stipulates that “spraying of, dancing or matching on the Naira or any note issued by the Bank during social occasions or otherwise howsoever shall constitute an abuse and defacing of the Naira or such note and shall be punishable under the law by fines or imprisonment or both.
“Accordingly, the Central Bank of Nigeria (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.
“We, therefore, warn 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. The Naira is our legal tender and symbol of national pride. Let us respect it and handle it with care.”
In July 2020, Nigeria’s Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami was seen during the wedding Fatiha of his son, Abdulaziz, to Khadija Danbatta spraying wads of cash against the CBN rule which forbids anyone from abusing the naira by spraying and stepping on them in public.
Nigeria’s Chief Law Officer has constantly been accused of using his influence in the Muhammadu Buhari-led government to promote impunity and human rights violation.
Also in July 2021, several videos went viral showing celebrities, business people and politicians spraying money indiscriminately during a lavish funeral of the mother of the Chairman of Cubana Group, Obi Iyiegbu, popularly known as Obi Cubana.
In one of the videos, Obi Cubana was seen displaying his football skills while one of the personalities threw wads of cash at him.
The 46-year-old literally turned a bale of naira to round leather as he kicked and chested it.
Veteran actor, Kanayo O. Kanayo, amongst scores of celebrities was also seen spraying naira notes on Obi Cubana who relished the tuneful rhythm coming b from the background.
A member of the House of Representatives and Club Quillox’s proprietor, Shina Peller, was also not excluded.