Counterfeit new naira notes surface few days after CBN begins circulation

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Counterfeits of the newly redesigned naira notes have begun circulating in the Nigerian economy few days after the Central Bank of Nigeria  (CBN) launched it into the banking system. 

It would be recalled that the apex bank had said the newly redesigned notes would help to address hoarding, reign in inflation and most importantly, checkmate counterfeiting. It’s interesting to see that the last objective is already proving difficult.

On Twitter, a user shared his experience with a counterfeit N1,000 note, which looks almost alike the original. In the viral video, the Twitter user identified as Oga Nepa can be heard explaining how his wife, who operates a POS stand, unknowingly received counterfeit money from one depositor.

He said: “Fake money is in town now, people should be very careful. My wife is into POS and somebody gave her this money (counterfeit) we don’t know who gave it to her but we later discovered that it is fake money.”

He added that the original has the golden print on the N1,000 note while the fake does not.

In the meantime, there are indications that Nigerians have been reluctant in their acceptance of the newly redesigned motes.

According to people’s reactions on Twitter, uneducated Nigerians have particularly been unreceptive of the new banknotes. They believed that it will take a while for a lot of market women to get accustomed to the new banknotes.

A Twitter user identified as Shenkes Baba explained that the reluctance could be fueled by concerns that the new banknotes look like counterfeits of the old naira notes.

He shared his experience of how a fried yam seller refused to collect the new N500.

According to the CBN, naira banknotes are protected by a number of security features to enable easy recognition of genuine notes. 

The distinguishing features which can be recognized by touch and visibility are the raised print, the security thread, and the watermark.

The apex bank said: “Other areas such as the portrait, lettering, and the denominational numerals on the obverse and reverse of the notes are embossed. The raised prints provide the tactility, while the security thread, which ordinarily, looks broken but is not when held up against the light, has CBN in small lettering printed on both sides of the notes.”

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