The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been urged by the House of Representatives to withdraw and arrange for the destruction of mutilated currency notes in circulation as well as replace same with new ones.
It expressed concern over the alarming rate of mutilated currency notes in circulation which has become a national embarrassment.
The House further mandated the Committee on Banking and Currency to conduct an investigation into the activities of an existing cartel in both the CBN and commercial banks who make brisk business recycling old Naira notes meant for destruction.
It said the investigation, which should also include other allied banks must ascertain those involved in these sharp practices of injecting mutilated and defaced notes into circulation and report back to the House within six weeks.
Also, the lawmakers urged the National Orientation Agency to carry out a sustained public sensitisation and enlightenment programme to educate Nigerians on the need to handle the Naira notes cautiously and with care.
The House resolution followed a motion sponsored by Hon. Segun Adekola Alexander (Ekiti, PDP) on the need to stem the rising tide of defaced, filthy and mutilated currency notes in circulation.
It noted that for reasons best known to the banks, torn, mutilated and unhygienic currency notes are being issued through automated teller machines (ATMs) and over the counter.
The House, particularly expressed concern that these unfit currency notes harbour pathogenic micro-organisms which are hazadous to human health as well as laden with infectious diseases including diarrhea, food poisoning and respiratory problems from bad notes.
The House, regretted that despite the arrest and subsequent and prosecution of six CBN officials alongside 16 commercial bank officials in 2014, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over a N8-billion mega scam involving the theft and recirculation of defaced and mutilated currencies meant for destruction, the cartel continued to flourish.