By Ossom Raphael
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reacted claims suggesting that about 20 per cent of the Naira currency notes in circulation are counterfeited.
The Apex bank equally frowned strongly at attempts to counterfeit the Naira, saying it remain committed to safeguarding the value of the Naira by ensuring that Nigeria’s Naira banknotes are not susceptible to counterfeiting.
According to a statement made available to journalists in Abuja and signed by the Acting Director of Corporate Communications, Mr Isaac Okoroafor, the CBN acknowledged that no currency in the world is immune from counterfeiting and therefore stated that the rate of counterfeiting in Nigeria has been very minimal, due to appropriate policies put in place by the Bank.
The Apex Bank added that its records at the Bank clearly indicate that the prevalence of counterfeit notes in Nigeria from January to December 2016 was less than one per cen (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.
“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 statement further said that 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 also work constantly with relevant security agencies to monitor and check the activities of counterfeiters”, the statement added.
The CBN therefore challenged the said former CBN official to make public the empirical evidence suggesting that 20 per cent Naira currency in circulation is fake, therefore urged members of the public to disregard the false alarm raised its former official, and be wary of the activities of counterfeiters and report any case of counterfeiting to the police and their banks.