The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, has warned that anyone caught spraying the Naira risks going to jail alongside their commercial bank staff collaborators as well as any official from the Central Bank that has a hand in facilitating their access to the newly-redesigned local currency.
According to Emefiele, those who earned money in a legitimate way, will not be spraying money like the people seen in trending videos have done, adding that all those seen spraying the newly-redesigned currency will be traced and prosecuted.
“We have found one of them. They will go to jail because they have broken the law. You cannot go and collaborate with bank officials to release Naira notes while those who need for legitimate transactions cannot get it. I have told the ICPC, EFCC and others to find them and when you find them, trace them to bank officials and to the Central Bank officials behind them.
“This is not targeted at anybody. We are only doing our job according to the law and should be allowed to do so for the good of the economy,” he warned.
Speaking to journalists at the apex bank’s office in Lagos, Emefiele frowned at some incidences of widespread hoarding and predatory activities of some vendors.
He said, “We appeal to those involved in these nefarious activities to please desist from such practices. This is because these actions, if left unchecked, could derail the achievement of the objectives of the Naira redesign policy.
“It has also come to our notice that at some branches, customers have become aggressive, verbally and/or physically abusing bank staff. They have also damaged or destroyed bank property, premises, and assets. We enjoin Nigerians to be peaceful and law abiding when they visit bank branches as this wanton destruction will be counterproductive, reducing the number of financial access points in these communities.
“We have also noticed that some Nigerians are capitalising on the transition to charge exorbitant fees or demand cash payment on the false pretext that POS machines don’t work, especially at petrol stations. These selfish actions for personal monetary gain is creating hardship for Nigerians and may come at the expense of fellow citizen’s lives and livelihood,” he added.
The CBN reiterated the availability of an appropriate amount of currency (redesigned N200, N500, and N1,000 denominations and current N100, N50, N20, N10 and N5 denominations) to support economic activities.
“We call on all Nigerians to be calm, law abiding and considerate of their fellow citizens, particularly the vulnerable and weak, in the conduct of their affairs as we execute this policy of national significance.
“As with all far reaching consequential policies, there is a transition period during which short term hiccups will be inevitably experienced but eventually overcome.
“The CBN is committed to ensuring a seamless, inclusive and equitable implementation of this exercise for the overall benefit of the people, financial system and Nigerian economy as a whole,” the CBN governor reiterated.