The Central Bank of Nigeria on Monday suspended indefinitely the clearing of cheque instruments in the Nigerian clearing system.
The apex bank said this in a circular released on Monday to all Deposit Money Banks and the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System.
The circular with reference number BKS/DIR/GEN/ClR/O7/002 was signed by the CBN Director, Banking Services Department, Sam Okojere.
The apex bank said in the circular that the directive became imperative due to the lockdown issued by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) in Lagos, Ogun and the Federal Capital Territory.
The lockdown was to check the increase in the number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus pandemic in the country.
The apex bank said in view of the lockdown and in furtherance of its effort to ensure hitch-free clearing and settlement activities, there was a need to suspend the clearing of cheque instruments.
The circular said the suspension would commence from March 31, adding that no fresh cheque instrument would be allowed to pass through the clearing system on that date. It said only returned cheque would be treated on March 31.