The central Bank of Nigeria on Monday, 27th April announced the lifting of temporary suspension of cheque clearing it had imposed in March. This was contained in a circular issued by the apex bank seen by Investogist.
According to the circular signed by the Director, banking Services Department, Sam C Okojere, cheque instruments will be allowed to pass through the clearing system with effect from 28 April, 2020.
The CBN has made the decision “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 cheques as one of the payment instruments in Nigeria, despite the lockdown of some states and FCT”.
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Recall that on 30th March 2020, CBN issued a circular announcing the temporary suspension of cheque clearing in the Nigerian Clearing System with effect from 31st March citing the lockdown order for Lagos, FCT and Ogun issued by the President following the confirmation of Covid-19 case in Nigeria on 27th March.
The use of cheque payment system has been on steady decline according to the data available on Nigerian Inter-bank Settlement System Plc website. However, some companies and individuals still use the traditional means of payment instead of the conventional electronic systems.
In 2019, the volume of check transaction was 7.81 million worth N4.48 trillion. This shows a significant decline compared to a volume of 9.02 million valued at N5.04 trillion in 2018.