Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disclosed that there are 8.88 billion pieces of different denominations of Nigerian currencies valued at N2.15 billion in circulation as at March 2019.
Mrs. Elizabeth Kwaghe of the Currency Operations Department of CBN disclosed this during the Two-Day CBN Fair held on Tuesday at the Benue Hotels, Makurdi, the Benue State capital.
Kwaghe who noted that the Nigerian currency is the symbol of pride to all Nigerians however regretted that many Nigerians abuse it by the despicable manner in which they handle the naira notes.
“The currency is our symbol of pride and so, we should not abuse them. It is an offense to abuse the naira notes and it is punishable under section 21 sub-section 4 of the CBN act 2007. Offenders are liable to imprisonment or a fine of N50,000,” Kwaghe stated.
She also posited that every Nigerian has the right to return bad or mutilated currency notes to the bank even as she assured that those bad notes would be replaced.
Earlier, Coordinator of the CBN Fair, Mr. Samuel Okogbue stated that the event was to create awareness about the activities of with a view to letting all Nigerians know what opportunities there are for them.
Okogbue recalled that when the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele assumed office, the inflation rate was around 15 to 18 per cent and the inflation rate was so bad that people who had wards overseas were finding it difficult to cope even as food prices were also sky-rocketing.
He said it was as a result of all these anomalies that the CBN governor took a policy decision to tackle them headlong by first stopping the importation of those things that the country can produce as a way of encouraging local producers.
Okogbue explained further that not long after these steps were taken, Nigerians began to witness marked improvement in the nation’s economy as the exchange rate dropped from over N500 to a little above N300.
The event had hundreds of Nigerians drawn from different professional and religious backgrounds in attendance just as different presentations on the activities of the CBN were also made. The program also afforded the participants to ask burning questions.