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CBN refutes Mailafia’s claims, says less than 1% fake naira notes in circulation

Barely less than one week after a former deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Obadiah Mailafia had disclosed that the total percent of fake naira notes in circulation is in the region of 20 per cent, the bank Tuesday debunked claims, saying only about 20 per cent of the naira notes in circulation were counterfeit. Otherwise, there is counterfeit circulating year on year in Nigeria.

Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department at CBN, Mr. Isaac Okoroafor who issued the statement challenged anyone claiming that 20 per cent of the nation’s currency were fake to support such claims with empirical evidence.

In a statement, CBN argued that the security features in the currency had made it difficult for the naira to be counterfeited, adding that less than one per cent of the notes in circulation between January and December last year were fake.

According to the terse release, “The attention of the Central Bank of Nigeria has been drawn to certain spurious and grossly uninformed claims suggesting that about 20 per cent of the naira currency notes in circulation are counterfeited.

“While we acknowledge that no currency in the world is immune from counterfeiting, we make bold to state that the rate of counterfeiting in Nigeria has been very minimal due to appropriate policies put in place by the bank.

“Indeed, our records at the bank clearly indicate that the prevalence of counterfeit notes in Nigeria from January to December 2016 was less than one per cent (0.0014 per cent) or 14 counterfeit pieces out of one million bank notes.

“In line with our core value of proactivity, we have always endeavoured 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 nationwide enlightenment of Nigerians on easy identification of fake banknotes and the reporting of such.”

Continuing, Okoroafor said “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 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 10 naira pieces held by an individual is ‘fake’.

CBN also noted that “Members of the public are, therefore, advised to disregard the false alarm raised by the said former CBN official, be wary of the activities of counterfeiters and report any case of counterfeiting to the police and their banks.”

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