Central Bank lifts suspension on cheque clearing
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has lifted the temporary suspension of cheque clearing in the country.
The apex bank had initially suspended the clearing of cheques instruments in the Nigerian Clearing System in March after President Muhammadu Buhari ordered a lockdown in Lagos, Ogun, and Abuja in a bid to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
This, the bank said last month, was to ensure hitch-free clearing and settlement activities.
However, in a circular signed by the bank’s director of Banking Services Department, Sam Okojere, on Monday, April 27, 2020, he said the suspension has been lifted effective Tuesday, April 28.
The circular read, “In furtherance of its effort in the development of a safe and efficient payments system in Nigeria, the Bank in collaboration with relevant stakeholders has reviewed the need for cheque clearing to accommodate users of the cheque as one of the payment instruments in Nigeria, despite the lockdown of some states and FCT.
“In view of this 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 from April 28, 2020.
“Deposit money banks are encouraged to advise their customers of this directive.”
President Buhari, on Monday, extended the lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja by an additional week until Monday, May 4 when a phased easing will commence with new nationwide measures.
President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to Nigerians to continue to work with the government to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease [Twitter/@BashirAhmaad]
Chief among the new measures is the mandatory use of face masks in public, in addition to maintaining physical distancing and personal hygiene.
Buhari also said there will be an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am when all movements will be prohibited except for essential services.
The president also placed a ban on interstate passenger travel until further notice. However partial and controlled interstate movement of goods and services will be allowed for the movement of goods and services from producers to consumers.
The restrictions on social and religious gatherings will also remain in place, according to the president.
The president assured Nigerians the government will continue to work on developing policies that will ensure the economy continues to function while still maintaining an aggressive response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nigeria has recorded 1,337 coronavirus cases in 32 states and the FCT, as of April 27.
255 people have recovered, but 40 people have died.