A mutilated banknote refers to a poor quality banknote that requires a special examination to determine its value. The note could be partially or permanently damaged by fire, water, dye, insects, rodents or destroyed by natural disasters.
In a circular issued by the CBN, it said the initiative was in a bid to enhance the availability of clean notes and effect expeditious withdrawal of dirty notes from circulation.
It said Deposit Money Banks and Cash Processing Companies making deposits at the CBN should classify their cash deposits into fit and unfit notes.
The CBN said the unfit notes should be sorted, classifying mutilated notes differently.
An unfit banknote refers to a genuine banknote that is no longer fit for circulation in accordance with the quality standard set by the CBN.
The apex bank said a banknote would be considered unfit for recirculation if it was badly soiled or if there was a general distribution/localisation of dirt.
It added that other features that could make a note be classified as unfit were if the note presented a limp/rag appearance due to excessive folding that resulted in the breakdown of the texture and structure of the note or if the note had added image or lettering marked on it or if had a hole that was more than 10 mm.
The circular read in part, “Other features that classify notes as unfit are torn parts of the banknote that are re-joined with adhesive tape in a manner that tries to preserve as nearly as possible the original design and size of the note; reduction in the original size of the note through wear and tear or fire, rodents and chemicals; perforation of the notes; and loss of more than half of the original size of the banknote.
“Unfit banknotes shall not be re-circulated by DMBs and CPCs. However, a penal charge of N12,000 per box, or any amount determined by the management of the CBN shall apply for the deposit of unsorted banknotes.
In addition, penalties as may be determined by the CBN, shall apply for the re-circulation of unfit banknotes.”
The CBN said offenders would be liable to a fine of N50,000 or six months imprisonment or both under the provision of Section 21 of the CBN Act, 2007.
According to the circular, writing or graffiti paintings, mutilation, stapling, tearing or making hole of any kind, spraying, soiling and matching is highly offensive and punishable.
The CBN said it would ensure that the Automated Teller Machines deployed by DMBs and other service providers were configured to dispense and accept only genuine banknotes in all denominations.
It added that the ATMs would only dispense notes that had been duly checked for authenticity and fitness according to the CBN’s standard and operators whose ATMs contravene this provision shall be sanctioned in line with the existing guideline.
“The CBN and DMB shall continue to receive mutilated notes from the public. The procedures for the treatment of mutilated notes and the notes for exchange are as enshrined in the Central Bank Operational Manual for the Operation of Mutilated Notes,” the circular stated.