The Central Bank of Nigeria’s will begin trying currency abusers through the use of a mobile court. The mobile court is specifically targeted at fighting against trading mint notes and the abuse of the Naira at events.
The CBN, in collaboration with the Nigeria Police Force and the Federal Ministry of Justice, is aiming to reduce the costs of minting and replacement of bad notes. The advent of the mobile court was announced on Thursday.
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of FSDH Merchant Bank Limited, Mrs. Hamda Ambah, stated that they were putting everyone on notice to modify behaviors and avoid the wrath of the law.
“Whether the court begins tomorrow or next year, the most important thing is for you to desist from trading in naira and abusing it,” she said.
The CBN’s Director of Corporate Communications, Isaac Okorafor, noted that it is within Nigeria’s laws to prosecute currency abusers, however, the law needs to be enforced with the support of the police and other inter-governmental agencies.
Okoroafor said, “I also remind you that it is a criminal offense to abuse the naira, which is punishable under the CBN Act 2007 by six months’ imprisonment or a fine of N50,000 or both when convicted of the sale, spraying or mutilation of the banknotes.”
He added that CBN is particularly spearheading the enforcement of the law “because it is costing the government a fortune to print the currencies. If this is a cultural thing, it should be stopped. If it is a behavioral thing, it should be changed.”
Details needed! It’s going to be interesting to see how (and if) these courts work? Who would man them?
Many Nigerians are aware of the fact that there are fines and even possible jail time for misuse of the Naira, but that has hardly changed people’s attitudes towards the currency. It’s now even trendy to use money spraying guns at social events.