The National Orientation Agency has issued a strict warning to the Olu of Owode Egba, Oba Aremo Sowemimo, for abusing the naira notes.
In a viral video, the monarch was seen spraying the naira notes on a musician during his 13th anniversary of ascension to the royal stool.
He was also seen decorating the musician with N1000 notes that he had made into garlands.
Reacting to the video in a statement signed and directed to the monarch, Director General, NOA, Lanre Issa-Onilu, said the display was an abuse of the national currency that attracts imprisonment, fines or both.
“We call your attention to an online video where a garland of the national currency was used by you to spray on one of the musicians who played at the event. Sir, for us, that was an abuse of one of the national symbols of our dear country,” the statement read.
“The NOA has the mandate to preserve and promote the integrity of our national symbols and we are compelled to appeal to you and indeed all traditional rulers to see it as part of your duty to preserve these symbols as part of our national culture. These symbols are icons that define us as a sovereign nation and respect for them mean also respect for our country,”
Issa-Onilu noted that the monarch’s action is punishable under the law.
“Section 21 (3) of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act 2007 as amended stipulates that spraying of, dancing or matching on the naira or any note issued by the bank during social occasions or otherwise, howsoever shall constitute abuse and defacing of the naira or such note and shall be punishable under the law by fines or imprisonment or both.”
The DG, however, called on the monarch to join the agency in the fight against indiscriminate abuse of the currency.
“We implore you, sir, to join the NOA in finding a solution to the indiscriminate abuse of the currency by enlightening your community members on the legal consequences of the abuse of the Naira and promoting the integrity of all our national symbols,” the NOA boss added.