By AUSTIN OWOICHO, Abuja
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently placed a ban on spraying at parties. Speaking recently on the ban, CBN spokesman, Isaac Okoroafor, said anyone caught spraying faces a fine of N50,000 or six months imprisonment.
In a press statement issued on Monday 15th October, 2018, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) described the ban as long overdue. The statement which was signed by the director of the human rights organization, Professor Ishaq Akintola, appealed to the law enforcement agencies to enforce the ban in the interest of the coming generation.
Akintola added, “We hail CBN for the ban on spraying at parties. It is a nauseating practice. Ours is a culture of waste. We are so materialistic today that we have forsaken our core values. We worship money even in the house of God. Spraying money at parties is flambouyance. Those who do it are cutting their noses to spite their faces. They are inducing greed and encouraging crime.
“What do you expect when people who have not taken any meal throughout the day watch you spraying money so recklessly as if you are throwing ordinary pieces of paper? You may attract armed robbers to yourself as you spray money at parties. Hoodlums may surround you or trail you when you leave. The CBN ban on spraying is therefore capable of reducing crime in society.
“Apart from that, we live in a country where the average person lives on less than $1 per day. Per capita income is less than $300. More than 80% Nigerians live below poverty level. The average worker lives from hand to mouth while majority of Nigerian students manage to survive on one meal per day. It is either 1 – 0 – 0 or 0 – 0 – 1.
“The question MURIC is asking is this: how can any Nigerian, acting in good conscience, come out boldly to spray money in such circumstance? We have seen the faces of hungry youths hanging around party venues waiting for left-overs from the tables of party-goers. The pain in their eyes strikes our hearts with grief as we watch fellow Nigerians spraying money on the dance floor. It is heartless”,
MURIC also blamed parents for the descent of youths into the abyss of indiscipline. “Parents prefer to turn their children into money-spinners. This has led many parents to use their children for money ritual. It has led many parents to force their daughters to marry rich men who do not care about their happiness. It has also led many parents to close their eyes to the criminal sources of their children’s wealth. Our society has drifted and we need iron hands to instill discipline in society.
“Even the Nigerian electorate has been misled. Stomach infrastructure is valued above long-term investment. The government of the State of Osun was recently punished by voters in the state for building good roads, bridges, modern school buildings, etc. Nobody complained that the state governor stole one kobo but they rebelled against him for investing their money in infrastructure.
“The verdict shows that Nigeria scored zero in voter education. It is also a strong pointer to the level of awareness of citizens’ rights in our society. People are not thinking of tomorrow. Neither are they appreciating leaders who plan for the future. We are in a hurry to eat up our tomorrow today. Consumerism leads us by our noses. It is a pity”.
But MURIC disagreed with CBN on the punishment to be meted out to defaulters. According to Akintola, “We disagree with N50,000 fine across the board. The fine should be based on the amount sprayed and the currency involved. A man who sprays only ten N100 notes cannot be compared with another who sprays two hundred N1,000 notes. Neither can we compare someone who sprays foreign currency with one who sprays naira. What is N50,000 fine to someone who sprayed close to one million naira? The fine should be proportionate to the amount sprayed.
“But that is if there is going to be any fine at all. In a worse case scenario, we would have loved a situation whereby government scraps the fine and opts for imprisonment without any option of fine for anyone who sprays money at parties. The length of jail terms may depend on the amount sprayed and the currency used. It should be a non-bailable offence. Nigerians fear to go to jail but they do not mind paying fines. This is why we advocate the scraping of fines for spraying money at parties.
“MURIC calls the attention of CBN to those who sell brand new naira notes. They are the ones who aid and abet spraying at parties. The police should be empowered to seize such money and return it to government treasury.
“As we take a break, we hail CBN for taking the bull by the horn. Those who desecrate the naira deserve punishment. We charge CBN to walk its talk. Emphasis should be placed on imprisonment for spraying at parties. There should be no option of fine. Only thus can we save this society from materialism, consumerism and moral decadence.