The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, on Friday alerted banks and Nigerians to beware of counterfeit bank notes, especially higher denominations now spent in food markets and other commercial hubs in the country.
According to Apex Bank, it is an offense punishable by imprisonment for any person to falsify, make, or counterfeit any bank note or coin issued by the CBN
CBN disclosed this in a statement signed by its Acting Director, Corporate Communications, Mrs. Sidi Ali, Hakama.
CBN said, “The attention of the CBN has been drawn to the circulation of counterfeit banknotes, especially higher denominations, by some individuals for transactions in food markets and other commercial centres across major cities in the country.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Section 20(4) of the CBN Act (2007), as amended, states that it shall be an offense punishable by a term of imprisonment of not less than 5 years for any person to falsify, make, or counterfeit any bank note or coin issued by the Bank which is legal tender in Nigeria.
“The CBN is in constant collaboration with relevant security and financial agencies to confiscate fake Naira banknotes, arrest and prosecute counterfeiters.
“Members of the public are also encouraged to report anyone suspected of having counterfeit naira notes to the nearest police station, branch of the CBN or via firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Meanwhile, all Deposit Money Banks, Financial Houses and Bureau de Change and the general public are enjoined to be more vigilant and take all necessary precautionary measures to curtail the acceptance and distribution of counterfeit notes.
“Furthermore, the general public is encouraged to embrace alternative modes of payment, e-channels, for day-to-day transactions to mitigate the risk of spreading counterfeit banknotes.”