The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed that cheque clearing should be suspended.
CBN Director of Banking Services, Sam Okoreje, said the suspension is effective from March 31.
The notice was addressed to all deposit money banks in the country and the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS).
The notice said the suspension is related to the lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja announced by President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday.
He said, “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 would continue to hold during this period of suspension.
The lockdown directive was issued by the President to curb the spread of COVID-19 across the country.
A joint statement by the CBN and Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning on Monday, however, said the President has given approval for banks to conduct skeletal services.
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