By Omobayo Azeez
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), on Monday, directed all deposit money banks (DMBs) in the country and the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NiBSS) to suspend the clearing of all cheque instruments in the Nigerian Clearing System, starting from today March 31st, 2020.
According to a statement signed by Sam Okojere, CBN’s director of banking services department, obtained by business a.m. the directive is intended to “ensure hitch-free clearing and settlement activities” during the 14-day lockdown that started last night.
Following the suspension, Nigerians will no longer be able to clear cheques issued to them by third party bank account holders; until further notice. Again, this is all part of efforts to ensure a hitch-free settlement activities during the lockdown period.
Recall that the Federal Government of Nigeria declared the 14-day lockdown on Sunday, as part of efforts to contain the Coronavirus pandemic which has recently begun to spread across most parts of the country.
Already, the CBN, in an earlier press statement, disclosed that it had obtained permission from the presidency to enable “skeletal operations” by banks.
This was deemed necessary to meet the emergency financial needs of Nigerians during the lockdown period.
Recall that the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) declared the 14-day lockdown on Sunday, as part of efforts to contain the Coronavirus pandemic in the country.
The cheque clearing system in Nigeria involves cheque truncation for payment by the clearing house.
The clearing system is established to settle payment among banks such that it is possible for customers of different banks to easily clear cheques issued to them by other account holders who do not necessarily bank with the same financial institution.