The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday said it has suspended the clearing of cheques till further notice.
The apex bank said this development was in view of the locked down in Lagos State, Abuja and Ogun State and the need to ensure hitch-free clearing and settlement activities.
Director, Banking Services, Department, CBN, Mr. Sam Okojere, disclosed this in a circular to banks and Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS).
He said: "Please recall that the first index case of COVlD-19 was recorded in Nigeria on 27'1 February 2020 and since that date, there has been some level of increase in the number of confirmed cases in the country.
"The President, through a nationwide broadcast yesterday, announced a locked down in Lagos and Ogun States and the Federal Capital Territory for two weeks in the interim, starting from 11:00 pm. of March 30, 2020, as a means of combating the spread of the virus and to ensure the safety of all Nigerians.
"In view of these recent developments and in furtherance to the bank's effort to ensure hitch-free clearing and settlement 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 a clearing system on March 31, 2020. The only returned cheque would be treated on the said date.
"However, settlement activities for electronic instruments will continue to hold during this period of suspension. Please be guided accordingly."