Govt extends phase-out date for old cheques

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has extended the phase-out date for old cheque books from January 1 to March 31.

The banking regulator said this became imperative due to the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It disclosed this in a circular to all Deposit Money Banks, accredited cheque printers/personalisers and Nigeria Interbank Settlement System on Friday titled ‘Re: Circular on the revised Nigeria cheque standard and Nigeria Cheque Printers Accreditation scheme.’

In the circular that was signed by the Director, Banking Services Department, Sam Okojere, it said it had come to its notice that some stakeholders interpreted the circular differently from the intended purpose.

Consequently, it had become imperative for it to issue clarifications on it, it stated.

Part of the circular read, “The parallel run, in which old and new cheques are allowed to co-exist, will end on March 31. Only new cheques will be allowed in the clearing system from April 1, 2021.

“Full enforcement of the second edition of the Nigeria Cheque Standard and Nigeria Cheque Printers Accreditation Scheme version 2.0 will commence 1st April 2021 and the NCS/NICPAS 2.0. Sanction grid will be fully operational on 1st April, 2021.”

“All Deposit Money Banks are directed to actively enlighten their customers and ensure necessary provisions are put in place for a smooth migration to the new standard.

“The extension of the full implementation date from 1st January 2021 to April 1, 2021 is due to outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it had on the Nigeria Cheque Standard and Nigeria Cheque Printers Accreditation Scheme version 2.0 project.”

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