By John Ikani
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has stated that it is unable to execute laws against those who violate the bank’s currency or financial guidelines.
Osita Nwanisobi, the Bank’s interim Director of Corporate Communications made this known during the weekend at an interaction session with the organised labour in Calabar, Cross River state where CBN announced its five year financial policy for 2019 to 2024.
Nwanisobi who represented the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, was reacting to reports of people spraying cash banknotes during ceremonies.
According to him, the top bank does not have the authority to enforce sanctions.
He said, “CBN is not a law enforcement agency. But we completely frown at such an attitude where the national currency is not accorded its due respect as other nationals do their currencies.”
Nwanisobi issued a strong warning against misusing, defacing, or roughing up the naira, claiming that the federal government spends a lot of money to print it and that the expense is generally passed on to the people in the long run.
What this means
The act of spraying money which is strongly embedded in the Nigerian party culture is a violation of the Federal Government’s law against defacing the naira note.
The CBN is committed to boosting confidence in the naira and abhors situations that degrade the local unit.
However, the apex bank does not have the power to enforce the law and may need further collaboration with other agencies such as the Police and EFCC.