The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has set out to tackle the menace of dishonoured cheques in the financial sector. Statistics from the apex bank obtained on Wednesday showed that Deposit Money Banks processed dud cheques valued at N166bn between January and December 2012. To this end, the bank is seeking a a review of the Dishonoured Cheque Offences Decree of 1977 which in its current form could not effectively discourage the issuance of dud cheques.
CBN is therefore suggesting a situation whereby any individual or organisation that issue bounced or dishonoured cheques on three occasions would be blacklisted and barred from having anything to do with the banking system.
Speaking at the opening of a two-day National Stakeholders’ Workshop on Dishonoured Cheques in Nigeria, CBN Deputy Governor, Corporate Services, Alhaji Suleiman Barau, noted that the apex bank intends to create a situation where such incidence would be formally reported to law enforcement agencies including the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for prosecution.
“We expect that once the arrangements we are putting in place works, we’ll get to a point where people will know that if you go on issuing dud cheques, you are likely to end up in prison even using the law that we have on ground right now, we know how long it takes for the legislative process to go through but it is a good thing that we are discussing now because as we noted, there are a lot of laws with the law as we have it,” he said.