Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Governor of CBN

CBN warns against abuse of the Naira, plans launch of digital currency

*The Central Bank of Nigeria condemns the rate at which Nigerians mutilate, deface, squeeze, and spray or sell the Naira notes, warning that culprits face prosecution with a jail term or fine

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

In view of the apparent disregard for the national currency by some, the Central Bank of Nigeria has condemned the rate at which Nigerians mutilate, deface, squeeze and even spray and sell the Naira notes in the country.

It warned consumers that “abuse of the currency attracts a penalty of not less than six months or a fine of not less than N50,000 or both.”

Aladeen Badejo, Assistant Director at the Currency Operations Department of CBN, stated this Thursday, June 10 in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, during the commencement of the CBN two-day sensitisation fair.

ConsumerConnect gathered the Bank had organised the programme to create awareness about its activities in relation to economic development initiatives.

Badejo in his presentation at the forum urged Nigerians to consider the country’s currency as a symbol of national identity.

He also stressed the need to handle the banknotes with care and dignity expressed concern over the huge amount being spent on reprinting them.

Badejo further noted: “Abuse of the currency attracts a penalty of not less than six months or a fine of not less than N50,000 or both.”

Mr. Osita Nwanisiobi, Acting Director of Corporate Communications Department at CBN, emphasised the Bank attaches great importance to sensitisation programmes.

Nwanisiobi stated the programme has become necessary to enable the CBN to acquaint the public with its economic development initiatives, and explain the opportunities available and how every citizen could take advantage of them.

The programme would also help to receive feedback from the public for consideration in the development of other policies, said he.

According to Nwanisiobi, CBN’s policies and initiatives were designed to address observed failures in some sectors with a view to building a strong and sustainable financial system in the economy.

The Acting Director of Corporate Communications, therefore, urged the members of the public not only to acquire information about the programmes but also to take advantage of them.

Biodun Okunola of the Development Finance Department of CBN also explained the Banker’s Bank has opened various funding initiatives designed to boost the economy with the target to promote small and medium scale (SME) businesses.

Bankers’ Bank plans to launch own digital currency by December

In a move to further make remittances travel easier from overseas to the country, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said it will launch own digital currency before the end of 2021.

A digital currency is a form of currency that is available only in electronic form. Cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ether, and several others are digital currencies.

Rakiya Mohammed, Director of Information Technology of CBN, who disclosed this during a media chat after the virtual Bankers’ Committee’s meeting Thursday, June 10, 2021, in Abuja, FCT, said the Bank has been exploring the technology for over two years and has made tremendous progress.

The CBN Director of Information Technology stated: “Before the end of the year, the Central Bank will be making a special announcement and possibly launching a pilot scheme in order to be able to provide this kind of currency to the populace.”

On the rationale for the introduction of the proposed digital currency into the country’s economy, Mohammed noted that the CBN plans to come up with a digital currency to make remittances travel easier from abroad to Nigeria.

According to her, the digital currency would accelerate the ability to meet the target, regardless of one’s country of residence.

Mohammed also stated that the CBN would be exploring various technological options and engaging various industry players, while moving to the next stage of proof of concept to pilot the scheme in the country.

According to her, Bankers’ Bank has considered the architecture, accessibility issue and privacy of the currency before embarking on the venture.

Recall the CBN February this year issued a directive to especially Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) to close accounts of individuals or corporate entities involved in cryptocurrency transactions in the Nigerian economy.

The apex bank had warned consumers, that cryptocurrencies could pose the risk of loss of investments, money laundering, terrorism financing, illicit fund flows, and other criminal activities.

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