The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disclosed it expended about N192 billion on currency management over the past five years.
According to Assistant Director, Currency Operations Department of the apex bank, Benedict Maduagwu, the whopping sum was spent on managing the naira between 2005 and 2010.
Maduagwu, who stated this in Lagos while addressing the media at the ongoing CBN Fair with the theme, “Promoting Financial Stability and Economic Development”, said presently, the huge cost of currency management in the country has grown more than that N192 billion in recent times.
His words: “CBN is  promoting the cashless policy because we discovered that the way currency is being handled and abused could cause some diseases. So the efforts in the cashless policy and also the public sensitisation is to tell people how to handle our naira, how to carry clean naira; these are all aimed at reducing the huge cost of currency management.
“In the recent times, we have carried out what we call sting operations on those that illegally hawk our naira, which is a crime. The CBN’s stand is very clear, that if you are hawking and abusing naira, you will pay fine of N50,000 or risk six months imprisonment or both.”
On the CBN’s fair, he said the bank decided to choose the theme because it is interested in complementing the efforts of the government in promoting the wellbeing of the citizens and economic development as the whole thing is encapsulated in financial and economic development.
According to him, there are interventions under the CBN, which are promoting the wellbeing and also diversifying the economy like the Anchor Borrowers Scheme.
He explained: “We have N220 billion MSME intervention scheme and about 60 per cent of it is reserved for women. We also have it for the crippled, we also have the youth development empowerment programme, which has to do with corps members that have served. They can access it and have N3 million as part of efforts to reduce unemployment in the country.”
Meanwhile, the Deputy Director, Trade and Exchange Department of CBN, Mr. Olu Vincent, said the fair was to sensitise the general public on what the CBN has been doing underground over the past few years to stimulate the economy and diversify it from oil to non-oil export, which everybody is clamouring for.
He maintained that CBN has some interventions for the real sector, aviation sector, agriculture sector and power sector, stressing there have been interventions in various sectors for the past five years that CBN has put in place to stimulate the economy.


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