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 Naira Abuse, fines and punishments 

Naira Abuse, fines and punishments

Naira 2

In Nigeria, the clean note policy, spearheaded by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), serves as a meticulous framework governing the production, issuance, and circulation of banknotes.

The policy is anchored on stringent standards aimed at upholding the integrity and quality of Naira banknotes in circulation, fostering seamless processing, and ensuring widespread acceptance among the populace.

At its core, the Clean Note Policy represents a concerted effort to combat Naira abuse and mishandling, compromising the physical integrity of banknotes and escalating the financial burden of processing and replacing damaged currency.

Through comprehensive public awareness campaigns, the CBN endeavours to instill a culture of responsible currency handling among citizens, thereby curbing prevalent practices detrimental to the longevity of banknotes.

Within Nigeria’s legal framework, the Naira and Kobo laws administered by the CBN delineate the boundaries within which currency-related activities must operate.
The CBN is responsible for the issuance of the Naira and kobo (Sections 17, 18 and 19).



This is the gravest transgression against the sanctity of the Naira and is met with severe penalties, including lengthy imprisonment, to deter would-be offenders from engaging in illicit currency replication.
A person who tampers with the Naira note or coin is guilty of an offence, punishable by law (CBN Act Section 21).
If you are caught and convicted of a counterfeiting crime, you may face up to five (5) years imprisonment with no option of fine (Section 20).


From the extravagant act of spraying banknotes at social gatherings to the seemingly innocuous act of scribbling on currency, each infraction is met with legal ramifications.

Stapling and Tearing:

Stapling banknotes, tearing them, or subjecting them to soiling or staining are all deemed as defacement, punishable under the law.

As outlined in the CBN Act Section 21, any individual who tampers with or alters the Naira note or coin is in violation of the law and subject to punishment.

Sale of currency:

To safeguard the integrity of the nation’s monetary system, even selling currency, once a common practice in informal markets, is sternly prohibited.
Section 21(4) of the Act specifies that engaging in the sale, trade, or hawking of Naira notes, coins, or any other currency issued by the Bank is strictly prohibited and punishable by law.


Mutilation of banknotes, a particularly egregious offence, is defined by the policy as any damage exceeding half of the original note’s size.

Whether through fire, flooding, deliberate tampering, or other natural calamities, the defacement of banknotes is viewed as an affront to the nation’s financial stability and is penalized accordingly.

Recent endeavours by the CBN underscore its unwavering commitment to upholding the tenets of the Clean Note Policy.
Collaborative efforts with law enforcement agencies seek to root out individuals involved in the illicit sale of newly redesigned banknotes and those openly flouting currency regulations.

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