By Victor Adeoti
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has appealed to Nigerians to stop defacing the naira, describing it as a national identity and symbol, which must be kept neat.
Dr Isaac Okorafor, the CBN Director of Corporate Communication, made the appeal at a programme tagged “CBN Fair’’ on Thursday in Osogbo.
Okorafor said the way and manner people were abusing the naira was a source of concern to the apex bank.
Represented by Mr Samuel Okogbue, an Assistant Director in the bank, Okorafor said the naira was a symbol of nationhood which must be respected.
“We don’t have any other currency than the naira and we must respect it.
“The naira is our identity, pride and symbol of nationhood and we must handle it with care.
“Don’t spray it, write on it but rather respect it. Abusing the naira is a criminal offence which attracts penalty.
“Just the way we respect our national flag, we should respect the naira as well.
“It is sad the way and manner people are abusing the naira by way of writing on it, spraying it at a party or squeezing it.’’
Okorafor appealed to Nigerians to always handle the naira with care and keep it safe and neat.
Speaking on complaints by some customers on arbitrary deductions on their accounts, he advised them to always ask questions whenever they noticed any abnormally or activities on their accounts.
“The provision of the revised guide on bank charges is that banks are required to provide their customers free statements of account on a monthly basis.
“This means you have a right to get your monthly statement of account from your bank at no cost,’’ Okorafor said.
Okorafor also urged Nigerians to always patronise made in Nigeria goods, saying this would help in creating job opportunities.
He said it was worrisome the way Nigerians were patronising foreign goods at the expense of local products.
Okorafor said for naira to gain stability, Nigerians must cultivate the habit of patronising made-in-Nigeria goods.
On the CBN anchor programme, he said the programme was aimed at helping local farmers to increase production and supply of Feedstock to processors, reduce importation and conserve Nigeria’s foreign reserve.
Okorafor said the programme was aimed at reducing poverty among small holder farmers and to create jobs.