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Naira abuse: Focus on prosecuting treasury looters -Expert tells FG

A financial expert, Okechukwu Unegbu, has urged the Federal Government to dissipate more effort in arresting and prosecuting politicians accused of looting the treasury.

Unegbu, a past president of the Chattered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), gave the advice in an interview on Monday [today] in Abuja

He spoke against the backdrop of recent arrest and prosecution of some Nigerians by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) for abusing and mutilating the Naira.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Act 2007 criminalises abuse of the Naira.

Section 21 of the Act listed spraying, dancing or stepping on the Naira or any other notes issued by the CBN during social occasions as constituting an abuse and defacing of the currency.

The law provides that such acts are punishable by a six months imprisonment or a fine of N50,000 or both.

According to Unegbu, spraying monies at social events has done less damage to the Nigerian economy when compared to looting of the treasury and other financial crimes committed by mostly politicians.

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”The EFCC should also go after corrupt politicians that have been accused of looting the treasury and causing mass poverty.

“Bringing treasury looters and corrupt politicians to book will be more beneficial to the country than going after those spraying Naira at parties.

”We have been spraying money during social occasions, people only need to be sensitised about the law that criminalises the act,” he said.

Unegbu urged the authorities to sensitise Nigerians about the proper manner to handle the Naira.

He also urged the CBN to ensure that the Naira is printed with quality materials like the dollar and other foreign currencies to enhance its durability.

“EFCC should be advising people who want to spray money; if they want to avoid abuse of the Naira at the ceremony, hold a bag or a net so that people can throw the money in there instead of throwing it on the floor.

“People should also be encouraged to keep money in wallets. That way, the Naira notes will remain durable,” he said.(NAN)

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Kadiri Abdulrahman
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