- COVID-19: CBN Halts Cheques Clearance Indefinitely
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Monday announced from March 31, 2020 it will no longer clear cheque instruments in the nation’s clearing system due to the present lockdown in Lagos, FCT and Ogun.
In the circular released on Monday to all Deposit Money Banks and the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System, the apex bank said in an effort to ensure hitch-free clearing and settlement activities, there was a need to suspend the clearing of cheque instruments.
The circular that was signed by Sam Okojere, the Director, Banking Services Department, CB, 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.”