The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has disclosed that there are over 8 billion pieces of different denominations of Nigerian currencies valued at N2.15billion in circulation in the country as at March 2019.
Manager in the CBN Currency Operations Department, Mrs. Elizabeth Kwaghe, who made this known yesterday in a Two-Day CBN Fair in Makurdi regretted that large chunk of the currency suffers abuse by Nigerians.
Kwaghe lamented that the Naira which was the symbol of pride to all Nigerians was bring manhandled and mutilated in a manner that was not befitting of a country’s currency.
According to her “as at March 2019 we have 8 billion pieces of different denominations of the Naira valued at over N2.15billion in circulation, regrettably these currencies suffer mutilation.
“Our currency is our symbol of pride and so, we should not abuse them. It is an offense to abuse our Naira notes because it is punishable under section 21 sub-section 4 of the CBN act 2007. Offenders are liable to imprisonment or a fine of N50,000.
Earlier, Coordinator of the Fair, Mr. Samuel Okogbue stated that the event was to create awareness about the proper handling of the Naira with a view to letting all Nigerians know what opportunities there were for them.
Okogbue recalled that when the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele assumed office, the inflation rate was around 15 to 18 percent stressing that the inflation rate was so bad that people who had wards overseas were finding it difficult to cope even as food prices were also sky-rocketing.
He said it was as a result of all the anomalies that the CBN governor made a policy decision to tackle them headlong by first stopping the importation of items that the country could produce as a way of encouraging local producers.
Okogbue explained that not long after these steps were taken, Nigerians began to witness marked improvement in the nation’s economy as the exchange rate dropped from about N500 to a little above N300.
The event had hundreds of Nigerians drawn from different professional and religious backgrounds in attendance just as different presentations on the activities of the CBN were also made.