The Central Bank of Nigeria has warned Nigerians to beware of fake naira notes in circulation despite the reports concerning naira currency shortage in the country.

In a statement released on Friday titled ‘Beware of Counterfeit Naira Banknotes in Circulation,’ the apex bank advised Deposit Money Banks, Financial Houses, Bureau de Change, and the public to be vigilant and implement necessary precautions.

The Central Bank assures the public that it is working with law enforcement operatives to apprehend those responsible for circulating counterfeit currency.

The statement, in part, said, “The attention of the Central Bank of Nigeria has been drawn to the circulation of counterfeit banknotes, significantly higher denominations, by some individuals for transactions in food markets and other commercial centers across major cities in the country.

For the avoidance of doubt, Section 20(4) of the CBN Act (2007) as amended, states that: “It shall be an offence punishable by a term of imprisonment of not less than five years for any person to falsify, make or counterfeit any bank note or coin issued by the Bank which is legal tender in Nigeria.”

“The CBN is constantly collaborating with relevant security and financial agencies to confiscate fake Naira banknotes and arrest and prosecute counterfeiters. Members of the public are also encouraged to report anyone suspected of having counterfeit naira notes to the nearest police station or branch of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Meanwhile, all Deposit Money Banks, Financial Houses and Bureau de Change and the general public are enjoined to be more vigilant and take all necessary precautionary measures to curtail the acceptance and distribution of counterfeit notes,” the statement reads.

Also, the Supreme Court recently ruled that the old Naira denominations of N200, N500, and N1,000 notes continue to co-exist with the new notes till further notice.

The court explained that the old and new notes should be maintained as a legal tender beyond December 31 until the Federal Government declares a new procedure for their replacement or redesign.

On March 3, The apex court restricted the Central Bank of Nigeria from deciding the deadline on the usage of old currency.

However, the CBN extended the validity of the old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes on November 14th.

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