Naira crisis: CBN to fine banks hoarding new notes

Bisola David
Bisola David
FG spent N74bn on new naira, others - CBN report

The Central Bank of Nigeria may levy fines of N5 million on banks holding fresh notes and N50,000 against individuals selling them.

According to Punch, this was based on the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act of 2020 as well as the Central Bank of Nigeria Act of 2007.

In accordance with the Banks and other Financial Institutions Act of 2020, the CBN governor may propose to change, revoke, or impose new or more conditions on a licensed bank or financial institution after informing the banks concerned.

It stated that any bank that violates the terms is subject to a fine of at least N5m and an additional N100,000 for each day the violation continues.

The Act’s Section 5(4,5) provided in part that “Where the Governor proposes to vary, revoke or impose fresh or additional conditions on a license, the Governor shall, before exercising such power, give notice of his intention to the bank concerned and give the bank an opportunity to make representations to him thereon.”

According to CBN, “Any bank which fails to comply with any fresh or additional condition imposed in relation to its license is liable to (a) a penalty of not less than N5,000,000, and (b) an additional penalty of N100,000 for each day during which the fresh or additional condition is not complied with.”

The document also states that any bank director, manager, or officer who does not ensure that compliance is followed is also culpable and subject to a sentence of at least three years in prison, N2 million, or both.

According to Section 5(6) of the Act, “Any individual, being a director, manager, or officer of a bank, commits an offense and is subject upon conviction to imprisonment for a term of not less than three years or a fine of not less than N2,000,000 or both.”

Hawking, selling, or otherwise transacting in naira notes is against the CBN Act of 2007, and those found guilty may be sentenced to at least six months in prison or a fine of at least N50,000. According to the document, violators risk both a fine and imprisonment.

Section 21(4) of the Act read, “It shall also be an offence punishable under Sub-section (1) of this section for any person to hawk, sell or otherwise trade in the Naira notes, coins or any other note issued by the Bank.”

Anyone caught selling or misusing the Naira will face legal action, the CBN had earlier stated.

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