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CBN Orders Suspension Of Cheque Clearing Indefinitely Over COVID-19 Lock Down



The Central Bank of Nigeria CBN has directed that all Deposit Money Banks DMB to suspend cheque clearing until further notice, effective from Tuesday March 31.

In a notice signed by the Director of CBN banking services department, Sam Okoreje, and addressed to all DMBs, and the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System NIBSS in the country on Monday, the apex bank said the suspension is related to the lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja which was announced by the president, Muhammadu Buhari in his live broadcast on Sunday.

According to the CBN Director, the announcement was ‘in furtherance of the bank’s effort to ensure hitch-free and clearing activities during the lock down period to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

The apex bank noted: “In view of these recent developments and in furtherance of the bank’s effort to ensure hitch-free and clearing 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 cheques will be treated on the said date.”

The notice, however, said settlement activities for electronic instruments will continue to hold during this period of suspension.

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