The House of Representatives, on Thursday urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to urgently withdraw and destroy mutilated naira notes in circulation.
The house also charged the National Orientation Agency to carry out sustained public enlightenment to educate Nigerians on the need to handle the naira notes cautiously with care.
The resolutions followed a motion by Rep. Adekola Alexander (PDP- Ekiti).
Moving the motion, Alexander said that the alarming rate of mutilated currency notes in circulation had become a national embarrassment.
He added that banks were issuing torn, mutilated and unhygienic currency notes through ATM machines and across the counter.
“I observe that in spite of arrest and subsequent prosecution of the culprits, there is still a cartel in CBN and commercial banks, which make brisk business recycling old naira notes meant for destruction.
“They enrich their bank accounts, acquiring properties through these illegal proceeds by converting the equivalent of the mutilated notes into their accounts and selling printed mint meant for customers, to touts and hawkers.
“Section 21(4) of the CBN Act of 2007 makes it a punishable offence for any person to hawk, sell or trade in naira notes, coins or any other issued by the apex bank,” he said.
The lawmaker expressed worry that most of the mutilated currency notes in circulation harboured pathogenic micro organisms hazardous to human health.
He said that the mutilated notes also harboured infectious disease such as diarrhea, food poisoning and respiratory problems which could be spread through the notes.
The motion was unanimously adopted by members when it was put to a voice vote by the Speaker, Mr Yakubu Dogara.
The house, therefore, mandated the Committee on Banking and Currency to conduct an investigation into the activities of the cartel by beaming searchlight on the CBN, commercial banks and other allied institutions.
The committee was given six weeks to carry out the assignment.