CBN Lifts Suspension on Cheque Clearing

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Monday lifted the temporary suspension it placed on the clearing of cheques in the country.

The apex bank disclosed this in a circular posted on its website, titled: “Re: Temporary Suspension of Cheque Clearing in the Nigerian Clearing System,” that was signed by its Director, Banking Services Department, Mr. Sam Okojere.

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It explained: “In furtherance of its efforts in the development of a safe and efficient payment 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 in some states and the FCT.

“In view of this, 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. Banks are encouraged to advise their customers of this directive.”

The CBN had as result of the initial 14 days lockdown by President Muhammadu Buhari suspended the clearing of cheques in the Nigerian Clearing System.

Meanwhile the Bank of Industry (BoI) says its granting a three months moratorium to all loans it extended to its customers to enable them cope with the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their businesses.

The Bank explained in a statement on Monday  that the moratorium was in line with the recent directive of President Muhammadu Buhari on loans’ moratorium and, “advised that customers requiring more than three months can apply for a further extension, which can be up to one year (12 months).”

The Bank also reduced the, interest rates on all BoI-funded projects by two per cent per annum, from the 10 per cent it was previously, to eight per cent per annum. This became effective since April 1.

The BoI said it has also worked with its funding partners to obtain interest rate reductions on some of the funds it manages.

“The Bank worked with the Nigerian Content Development Management Board to reduce the interest rates on credit facilities approved under its managed fund from eight per cent per annum to six per cent per annum.”