Decrying unabated abuse of the Naira, a senior banker has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria to enforce Section 21 CBN Act 2007, against offenders, towards ending the practice.
Fielding questions on how best to stop mishandling of the Naira notes on PEOPLE’S ARENA, a state-of-the-nation forum on Facebook, the former National President of the Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI), Comrade Sanni Adeshina noted that the “CBN Governor, at a function in May this year, clearly mentioned the penalty against defaulters.”
He also aligned with the CBN boss by urging immediate enforcement of the Act that protects the Naira.
The publisher, Business Plus magazine, Dr Grace Achum stated that the issue of Naira abuse needs continued advocacy by the public affairs department of CBN, or Federal Ministry of Information and Culture. She said they should create non-stop awareness to the public for a duration of time, on why they should desist from rough-handling the Naira notes, before sanctions on defaulters are enforced.
A former lawmaker, Hon. Funso Asagun said writing or drawing on Naira notes, rough-handling, spraying, selling, squeezing, or defacing the nation’s currency in any way should be handled with iron hand by the CBN. He stressed the need for the enforcement of Section 21, CBN Act 2007 that mentions imprisonment or cash fine for offenders.
A participant, Mr Lanre Azeez, a public commentator and Coordinator of KSA Ariya Kingdom, adduced the problem of mishandling the nation’s currency notes to the country’s level of illiteracy. He also lamented the unavailability of coins in circulation.
On the issue, he sought the way forward from Comrade Adeshina.
“Our naira notes are made dirty and defaced by mostly market men and women, beggars, destitutes,artisans and people with little or no education.
“Other factors I perceive as contributing to this headache are unavailability of coins, inflation and the purchasing power of naira that is already in comatose,” he said.
Azeez also wondered what was the gains of the commercial banks in dispensing old and dirty Naira notes while new ones keep springing up at parties where they are sold to people.
“What do they stand to lose if they release newly minted notes? He queried.
To this, Adeshina said, the banks gain nothing by dispensing old notes.
“Nigerians are good people, all that is needed is enlightment at regular interval and stating the stipulated penalties for would be offenders. Importantly, banks should be warned against giving out dirty notes to customers even at the point of ATM,” the senior banker said.
To this, a senior journalist, Mr Dele Fanimo said corruption seems the bedrock of unexplainable circulation of torn Naira notes as those saddled with the responsibility of destroying the torn notes at times share the new currency notes, supposed replacement for the old withdrawn ones, sending the latter back into circulation.