The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disclosed that it had ordered banks to refund N65billion to Nigerians.
The refund covered wrongful deductions and charges from customers’ deposits and other transactions in the last six years.
Acting Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Isaac Okorafor, confirmed this on Wednesday at a fair with the theme: ‘Promoting Financial Stability and Economic Development’ for stakeholders in Asaba, Delta State.
“We have recovered and returned to customers over N65bn out of complaints by people over acts of treatment on customers, wrong charges, wrong deductions and others since 2012/2013 when we started,” he said.
The official, however, reiterated that the hawking of denominations of the naira was an offence punishable under the CBN Act of 2005.
He warned banks involved, particularly its staff members, to desist from the practice or face sanctions.
Okorafor said, “The CBN is very committed to making sure that people do not hawk the naira, because it is an offence punishable under the CBN Act of 2005. We have made it clear to any of our staff involved in the practice that they will be dismissed.
“We have also made it clear to banks that any of them caught doing it will be severely punished. We are a regulator and not a law enforcement agency. It is the duty of the Nigerian Police to enforce the law. We have collaborated with them at different times.
“We have had raids in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Onitsha, Ibadan and so on, and we will continue to do that, and people have been caught and money confiscated. We are waiting on the police to begin to prosecute those people.”dp