NASS: New CBN Bill Proposes N500,000 Minimum Fine for Naira Abuse

By Milcah Tanimu

The Nigerian Senate has introduced a bill to amend the Central Bank of Nigeria Act 2007, proposing a substantial increase in the minimum fine for naira abuse from N50,000 to N500,000. This proposed legislation, spearheaded by Senator Mukhail Adetokunbo Abiru (Lagos East), aims to significantly heighten the penalties for naira abuse to reinforce the currency’s integrity.

Previously championed by Senator Darlington Nwokocha before his removal from office by an Appeal Court in Lagos, the bill is officially titled ‘A Bill for an Act to Amend the Central Bank of Nigeria Act No. 7 of 2007.’ Its primary objective is to empower the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to more effectively achieve its principal goals.

Key Provisions of the Bill:

1. Minimum Fine for Refusing Naira Payments:
The bill stipulates a minimum fine of N500,000 or six months imprisonment for individuals who refuse to accept the naira as a means of payment in Nigeria. The proposed amendment states:

“A person who refuses to accept the Naira as a means of payment or who prices or denominates the cost of any product or service or consummates any non-export business in Nigeria other than in Naira is guilty of an offence (unless the Bank has by written circular published in the National Gazette permitted such transaction) and liable on conviction to a fine of N500,000 or 6 months imprisonment.”

2. Minimum Fine for Buying Naira Notes:
The bill also proposes a new minimum fine of N500,000 for anyone involved in the buying and selling of naira notes. The amendment reads:

“A person who buys/sells Naira notes at a mark-up is guilty of an offence and shall on conviction be liable to imprisonment for a term not less than six months or to a fine not less than N500,000 or Ten per cent of the transaction value (whichever is higher), or six (6) months imprisonment.”


These amendments aim to deter the misuse and abuse of the national currency, ensuring that the naira remains the principal means of transaction within Nigeria. By imposing stiffer penalties, the Senate intends to uphold the value and sanctity of the naira amidst economic challenges.


  • The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) established a task force in February 2024 to enforce laws against currency mutilation and the dollarization of the economy.
  • Recent high-profile convictions include Okuneye Idris (Bobrisky) and Instagram personality Pascal Okechukwu (Cubana Chief Priest) for naira abuse.
  • The EFCC has also warned establishments such as schools, supermarkets, and hotels against charging for services in foreign currencies, reinforcing the exclusive use of the naira for transactions within Nigeria.

These legislative efforts underscore the commitment to maintaining the naira’s integrity and promoting its exclusive use in the country’s economy.


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