February 27, 2024

This picture taken on January 29, 2016 in Lagos shows 1000 naira banknotes, Nigeria's currency. - Nigeria's central bank governor, Godwin Emefiele, on January 26 dismissed calls to devalue the naira in his monetary policy committee statement. Instead he chose to continue propping up the currency at 197-199 naira to the dollar and maintain foreign-exchange restrictions. As a result, the naira on the black market is hovering around a record low of 305, fuelling complaints from domestic and foreign businesses who can't access dollars required for imports. (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP) (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP via Getty Images)

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has confirmed that fake naira notes were circulating nationwide, alerting the public to beware of their transactions.

The apex bank raised the alarm in a statement titled, ‘Beware of Counterfeit Naira Banknotes in Circulation,’ and signed by its acting director of Corporate Communications, Sidi Hakama.

“The attention of the Central Bank of Nigeria (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,” CBN stated.

Quoting  Section 20(4) of the CBN Act (2007) as amended, the apex bank said, “It shall be an offence punishable by a term of imprisonment of not less than five 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 Central Bank of Nigeria or via [email protected],” CBN said.

The ICIR reported that the apex bank introduced new naira notes of N200, N500 and N1,000 to phase out the old denominations but that the masses widely criticised the redesign policy.

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