The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has threatened to prosecute anyone that rejects the old Naira notes as means of payment for any financial transactions in the country before the morning of 1st of February, 2023.
This is just the apex bank in the Nigerian economy also disclosed that the Department of State Service (DSS) and other security intelligence agencies are vigilantly watching to arrest and prosecute anyone caught attempting to counterfeit the newly redesigned Naira notes.
CBN’s Head of the Abeokuta branch, Alhaji Wahab Oseni stated this while addressing traders, the electronic system operators and other stakeholders during the bank’s sensitization exercise held at the popular Kuto Market in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
Speaking at the sensitization exercise, which witnessed a convergence of several market leaders from the different commodities, Oseni said the sensitization was targeted at easing the bottlenecks likely to be encountered at the expiration of the January 31 deadline, as well as allay the rumour making the rounds that the redesigned Naira notes are bleaching.
Stressing that redesigning of the entire Naira notes are long overdue, Oseni said the laws empowering the CBN to manage the country’s currency demanded that such exercise should be carried out in an interval of five to eight years, whereas the highest N1, 000, N500 and the N200 denominations have spent a period of 15, 16 and 20 years in circulation respectively.
He however, urged the Nigerian traders to focus more on the features put in place by his bank to enable them to identify and distinguish between the CBN’s note and the counterfeit ones.
Admonishing the traders to still consider the old Naira notes of N1, 000; N500 and the N200 denominations as valid legal tenders, Oseni state that the CBN had instructed all commercial banks in the country not to close shops, but continually attend to customers till the midnight of 31st of January, 2023.
He said, “You cannot actually know the mind of criminals, you can’t know the mind of criminals so, people want to perpetrate whatever they want to perpetrate actually know that is the job they want to do. I am sure the Department of State Service(DSS) and other Intelligence agencies are already watching, just like they have done in the past and they have always been caught and prosecuted”.