The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has issued a warning to Nigerians regarding the presence of illegal naira banknotes in circulation.
The CBN warned that the counterfeit notes are predominantly of higher denominations.
Its Acting Director of Corporate Communications, Hakama Sidi Ali disclosed that the counterfeit naira notes are commonly used for transactions in food markets and other commercial centers across major cities in the country.
Ali stated that severe sanctions await anyone found complicit in circulating these counterfeit currency notes.
According to the Director, the law provides for a minimum prison term of five years for individuals involved in counterfeiting naira notes or any other legal tender in Nigeria.
In light of this, she urged deposit money banks, financial houses, Bureaux de Change, and the general public to exercise increased vigilance and take all necessary precautionary measures to prevent the acceptance and distribution of counterfeit notes.
“The attention of the CBN) has been drawn to the circulation of counterfeit banknotes, especially higher denominations by some individuals.
“The CBN is in constant collaboration with relevant security and financial agencies to confiscate fake naira banknotes and 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 email@example.com.
“Furthermore, the general public is encouraged to embrace alternative modes of payment for day-to-day transactions to mitigate the risk of spreading counterfeit banknotes.”