Sule Aderounmu |
Despite the stern warning from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) about the legal implications of buying, selling, mutilating and spraying of Naira at social occasions, more Nigerians are buying the fresh notes from banks and spraying them at parties.
Nigeria remains the only country in the world where such crude display of ostentation and common abuse of her legal tender by partygoers attracts huge social esteem and public honour to those who engage in it.
When our reporters visited some of the banking halls on Friday, currency sellers were seen buying fresh Naira notes, which would be hawked and sold at event centres where wedding receptions, birthday celebrations, etc, are held.
The lower denomination banknotes like N200, N100, N50, N20, N10 and N5, which are demanded more by buyers, are sold as fresh mints.
A Naira notes hawker at Alausa, Ikeja, who identified herself simply as Joke, said that buyers pay N1100.00 for every N1000.00 worth of banknote bought.
Although selling, buying, spraying and mutilation of Naira notes is a criminal offence but most Nigerians have accepted the practice as a social norm, which bestows public honour on anyone spraying Naira notes at parties.
It is a criminal offence punishable by six months’ imprisonment or a fine of N50,000 or both to sell, spray or mutilate the banknotes. It is also a criminal offence, which attracts five years’ imprisonment without an option of fine for anybody caught counterfeiting the Naira notes.
The CBN has warned that anyone caught engaging in the act would be prosecuted but despite the increasing number of people who engage in the criminal act, nobody has ever been arrested and prosecuted by law enforcement agents.