The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday announced the temporary suspension of cheque clearing in the Nigerian Clearing System.
In a circular addressed to all Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) and Nigeria InterBank Settlement System(NlBSS), signed by Sam C. Okojere, CBN
Director of Banking Services Department.
The Apex Bank noted that no new cheques will be allowed to pass through the chequeing system except cheques that have been previously issued and returned will be treated on 31st March 2020
The circular reads: “Please recall that the first index case of COVID-19 was recorded in Nigeria on 27th February, 2020 and since that date, there has been some level of increase in the number of confirmed cases in the country.
“The President, through a nationwide broadcast yesterday, announced a locked down in Lagos and Ogun States and the Federal Capital Territory for two weeks in the interim, starting from 11:00 p.m. of March 30, 2020 as a means of combating the spread of the virus and to ensure the safety of all Nigerians.
“In view of these recent developments and in furtherance to the Bank’s effort to ensure hitch-free clearing and settlement activities, the Central Bank of Nigeria hereby suspend, until further notice, the clearing of cheques instruments in the Nigerian Clearing System starting from March 31, 2020.
“For the avoidance of doubt, no fresh cheque instrument will be allowed to pass through clearing system on March 31, 2020. Only returned cheque would be treated on the said date.
“However, settlement activities for electronic instruments will continue to hold during this period of suspension”.