By Dipo Olowookere
Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says its attention has been drawn to “certain spurious and grossly uninformed” claims suggesting that about 20 percent of the Naira currency notes in circulation are counterfeited.
The bank in a statement issued by its spokesman, Mr Isaac Okorafor, said while its acknowledges that no currency in the world is immune from counterfeiting, it makes bold to state that the rate of counterfeiting in Nigeria has been very minimal due to appropriate policies it has put in place.
“Indeed, our records at the bank clearly indicate that the prevalence of counterfeit notes in Nigeria from January to December 2016 was less than one per cent (0.0014%) or 14 counterfeit pieces out of one million bank notes.”
“In line with our core value of proactivity, we have always endeavored to use strong security features to make it difficult for dishonest persons to counterfeit the currency,” the CBN said.
It said in addition to that, “we have carried out periodic massive nation-wide enlightenment of Nigerians on easy identification of fake banknotes and the reporting of such.”
“We therefore find it rather curious that a former high ranking official of the CBN would make such bogus and unauthentic claims apparently calculated to destroy confidence in our national currency and sabotage the collaborative efforts of the CBN and the Federal Government at ensuring enduring stability of the financial system.
“The unfortunate implication of the fabricated claim of the said former official of the Bank, is that it gives the false impression that two bills out of every ten Naira pieces held by an individual is ‘fake’.
“We therefore challenge the said former CBN official to make public the empirical evidence suggesting that 20 percent Naira currency in circulation is fake,” the CBN added.
The statement said for the avoidance of doubt, the CBN frowns strongly at attempts to counterfeit the Naira.
“We remain committed to safeguarding the value of the Naira by ensuring that our Naira banknotes are not susceptible to counterfeiting.
“We also work constantly with relevant security agencies to monitor and check the activities of counterfeiters.
“Members of the public are therefore advised to disregard the false alarm raised by the said former CBN official, be wary of the activities of counterfeiters and report any case of counterfeiting to the police and their banks,” it said.
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