In order to prevent further depreciation of the naira, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) faces another problem: the misuse of naira banknotes. According to CBN’s Aladeen Badajo, the central bank is concerned about the speed at which Nigerians “destroy, deface, squeeze and even spray and sell naira banknotes.” He added that because of this abuse, Nigeria is now spending more money on reprinting banknotes than it should be.

According to a report citing Badajou, assistant director of CBN’s currency business department, the perpetrator may now face jail. Badajou elaborated:

Misuse of currency will result in a fine of not less than six months or a fine of not less than US$120 (N50,000) or both.

The deputy director added that instead of damaging the banknotes, “people [should] Think of Nigeria’s currency as a symbol of national identity. “

At the same time, Bitcoin.com News contacted Nigerian “cryptocurrency thought leader” Nathanial Luz to understand why his compatriots continued to abuse banknotes despite CBN’s requests and threats. According to Luz, Nigerians regarded the spraying of banknotes as a kind of celebration. CBN was aware of this but failed to enforce the ban. Luz told Bitcoin.com News:

Nigerians even buy new banknotes at a premium of 70% so that they can spray the banknotes. Therefore, I can buy US$10,000 worth of Naira bills for between US$15,000 and US$17,000, just to spray money.

Nevertheless, Luz expressed his belief that this practice has little to do with the continued devaluation of the naira.

Do you think the new threat of CBN will end Nigeria’s money spraying practice? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

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