By Omobayo Azeez
The Central Bank of Nigeria has lifted the temporary suspension placed on cheque clearing in the country with effect from Tuesday, April 28, 2020.
The apex bank disclosed this in a circular on Monday.
In the circular, which was signed by Sam Okojere, the director, banking services department, the apex bank explained that in furtherance of its effort in the development of a safe and efficient payment system in the country, it has lifted the suspension.
It stated, “In view of the development, the bank hereby lift the temporary suspension of cheque clearing in Nigeria. Consequently, cheque instruments will be allowed to pass through the clearing system, with effect April 28, 2020.”
Recall that the clearing of all cheque instruments in the Nigerian Clearing System, was suspended by the apex bank, effective from March 31st, 2020.
According to the bank, the directive was intended to “ensure hitch-free clearing and settlement activities” during the previous 14-day lockdown.
Within the period of the suspension, business A.M gathered that many business organizations were affected as they experienced difficulties making payments for operations and payment of salaries.
Despite growing adoption of electronic payment channels in the Nigerian financial and payment system, cheque remains a relevant channel of consummating deals and payment.
According to the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NiBBS), various deals valued at N367.77 billion were cleared through some 627,000 cheques in January this year alone, although 8.79 per cent lower than N403.215 billion in the same month of 2019 and 6.09 per cent short from December, 2019 value of N391.616.