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CBN suspends cheque clearing till further notice

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CBN suspends cheque clearing till further notice

Godwin Emefiele

The Central Bank of Nigeria on Monday suspended indefinitely the clearing of cheque instruments in the Nigerian clearing system

The apex bank said this in a circular released on Monday to all Deposit Money Banks and the

Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System.

The circular with reference number BKS/DIR/GEN/ClR/O7/002 was signed by the CBN Director, Banking Services Department, Sam Okojere.

The apex bank said in the circular that the directive became imperative due to the lockdown issued by the President, Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) in Lagos, Ogun and the Federal Capital Territory.

The lockdown was to check the increase in the number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus pandemic in the country.

The apex bank said in view of the lockdown and in furtherance of its effort to ensure  hitch-free clearing and settlement activities, there was a need to suspend the clearing of cheque instruments.

The circular said the suspension would commence from March 31, adding that no fresh cheque instrument would be allowed to pass through  the clearing system on that date.

It said only returned cheque would be treated on March 31.

The circular read in part, “Please recall that the first index case of COVlD-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 on Sunday, announced a locked down in Lagos and Ogun States and the Federal Capital Territory for two weeks in the interim, starting from 11pm 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 suspends, 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.”

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