The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says the amount of counterfeit naira in circulation is less than one per cent.
The acting Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Mr Isaac Okorafor disclosed this in a statement issued on Tuesday in Abuja
A former Deputy Governor of the CBN, Dr Obadiah Mailafia, said on Monday in Abuja that 20 per cent of the total currency in circulation in the country was fake.
Okorafor said that the information given by the former apex bank staff was grossly exaggerated.
“While we acknowledge that no currency in the world is immuned 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.
“This means that there were only 14 counterfeit pieces out of one million bank notes,” he said.
To keep counterfeit currency low, Okorafor said CBN carried out periodic massive nation-wide enlightenment of Nigerians on easy identification of fake banknotes and reporting of such.
He added that the naira “has strong security features which makes it difficult for dishonest persons to counterfeit the currency.”
He said also that the bank worked regularly with relevant security agencies to monitor and check the activities of counterfeiters.
“We therefore find it rather curious that a former high ranking official of the CBN will 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.
“We therefore challenge the said former CBN official to make public the empirical evidence suggesting that 20 per cent Naira currency in circulation is fake,” he said.
Okorafor reiterated the apex bank’s commitment to ensuring that the Naira banknotes “are not susceptible to counterfeiting”.