Cbn Moves To Review Nigerian Cheque Standards

By Sola Alabadan, Lagos


The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is to review the Nigerian Cheque Standard and Nigeria Cheque Printers Accreditation Scheme (NICPAS) documents (The Green Book) to ensure that the standard continues to be relevant in meeting its objectives.

The CBN, in collaboration with the Bankers Committee, introduced a codified cheque standard and a Cheque Printers Accreditation Scheme in 2006, to facilitate an efficient Clearing system in Nigeria. Its core objectives are to promote efficiency in the clearing system through reduced reject rates, facilitate imaging technology and archiving, as well as to reduce Cheque fraud, by specifying the design and security features on the instruments.

The CBN has therefore requested for proposal from suitably qualified Nigerian and foreign organisations capable of carrying out the review.

The consultants would be required to analyse some clearing instruments and related payment issues in recent years and review the mandatory and optional security features, as specified by the Nigerian Cheque Standard, to access their adequacies and continued relevance.

Besides, successful consultants would be expected to identify the technology that can further enhance the security features of cheques and enhance detection of fraud at minimal cost; as well as identify foreseeable changes in the global environment, which may be relevant to the update of this document and the cheque production processes.

Again, consultants would be required to identify the features/design that can enhance image technology /cheque truncation, as well as protect all parties in the cheque truncation regime; while also reviewing the cheque design, type and sizes.

They would also carry out a general review of the cheque standard for consistency in terms of structure and contents and compare the Nigeria cheque standard with WAMZ standard and harmonise where necessary.

General review of the Nigeria Cheque Printers Accreditation Scheme for content and operational procedures; as well as the design an auditable programme that will confirm domestication of the cheque printing by accredited local printers would also be considered.

Additionally, the consultants would be required to recommend inputs for Quality Policy to be implemented by the cheque personalisation centers; design a framework for the accreditation of banks/vendors for cheque personalisation; and train the members of the MICR Technical Committee on the Cheque Standards, to enable them carry out effective oversight functions.

Source : Independent

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