House Seeks End To Abuse Of Naira Notes


SAN FRANCISCO, March 21, (THEWILL) - The House of Representatives Thursday moved to end the incessant abuse of the Naira notes by hawkers and traders in some parts of the country.

Consequently, the House called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to probe the alleged 'bribe for new Naira notes' levelled against some of the bank's officials.

The resolution was sequel to a motion moved by Hon.

Ismail Inah Hussain and Hon.
Nosakhare Isaac Osahon on the urgent need to energise the fight against the trading in Naira notes .

It also called on CBN to replace old and mutilated notes from circulation.

Leading debate on the motion, Hussain recalled that Section 21(4) of the CBN Act of 2007 makes it a punishable offence for any person to hawk, sell or trade in Naira notes, coins or any other notes issued by the apex bank.

He submitted that the illegal sale of the notes by bank officials and touts had persisted despite the provisions of the CBN Act.

He noted that the unlawful act has encouraged persistent scarcity of new lower Naira notes, particularly the N5, N10, N20 and N50 across the country, thereby creating an avenue for illegal currency hawkers to make brisk business.

The lawmaker pointed out that hawkers receive a minimum of N200 commission for each N1,000 transaction at the popular Dei-Dei junction in Abuja.

He pleaded that the House should intervene immediately to salvage the dignity of the Naira notes, adding that culprits should be apprehended and prosecuted.

In his contribution, Osahon described the illegal business as fraud and corruption in the highest order.

Also supporting the motion, Hon.
Fort Dike, opined that the Committee on Banking and Currency should also investigate the matter with a view to bringing the culprits to book.

He argued that it was the duty of CBN to periodically print new notes and withdraw old notes from circulation.

Arua Arunsi, who spoke against the motion, said it was the high unemployment rate that forced many people to indulge in the business.

He stressed that many, who would have become criminals today, are in the business just to keep body and soul together.

He added that if there were jobs for them, they would not have engaged in hawking and trading currency notes.

The House further called on the CBN to probe the matter and take punitive actions against defaulters, as well as withdraw old, mutilated notes from circulation.

The House also called on the Nigeria Police and State Security Service (SSS) to investigate, arrest and prosecute any bank official or any other person engaged in the illicit business.