Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has read the riot act to bank customers in the country as it expressed its readiness to prosecute any individual that abuses Naira notes henceforth.
To this end, the CBN has also embarked on sensitisation and awareness programmes for market men and women as well as youths in Ondo State on the evils associated with abuse of Naira notes.
The apex bank informed that the law guiding the Naira notes still subsists and violation of the laws would attract jail terms.
Addressing various groups of bank customers, in Akure, the state capital, Assistant Director, Currency Operation Department of the CBN, Mr. Benedict Maduagwu, said there was the need for the citizens to develop good style of handling naira notes.
Maduagwu reiterated that anybody caught abusing Naira notes would be jailed for five years with an option of N50,000 fine.
Said he, “Government uses tax payers’ money to print the Naira notes. So, it is unfair for us to be rough-handling the notes. If you continue to spoil the Naira notes, there will be no much money for the commercial banks to give out as loans to customers and this will affect our economy.
“Do not squeeze the Naira notes; do not write on the notes. Do not put money under the clothes because of bacterial infection to the body. Anybody selling Naira notes is an enemy of Nigeria,” he stated.
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On the scarcity of smaller denomination in the circulation, the CBN boss disclosed that the apex bank would soon come to the state to sell smaller denomination Naira notes directly to market men and women, adding that the exercise would be carried out periodically.
“We want to appeal to the commercial banks to be putting smaller denomination inside their ATMs in order to end the scarcity of smaller denomination in the country.” Maduagwu said.
In his remarks, the Officer in charge of consumer protection department of the CBN, Mr. Oludamola Atanda, charged the customers to lodge complaints and seek redress at their banks if there is any infraction or infringement on their personal bank accounts, especially excessive charges.