THE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is in the process of stopping issuers of dud cheques (returned cheques) from opening current account, the Deputy Director, Banking Supervision, CBN, Mr. Stephen Nwadiuko, has said.
He said the CBN was working on the credit bureaus in the country to build a data base that would reveal bank customers who issued dud cheques three times within a specified period and barred from operating current accounts.
Nwadiuko spoke in Lagos on Wednesday during the third National Credit Reporting Conference.
He said, “The CBN is working with the credit bureaus so that a data base is built to identify bank customers who have issued dud cheques for three times in a given period. There is the Dud Cheque Act of 1977, which provides for the prosecution of issuers of dud cheques.
“But since nothing has been done with that document, the CBN is trying to do something within its own powers that will stop customers who are fond of issuing cheques on unfunded bank accounts.”
Earlier, the Governor, CBN, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, who declared the conference open, had said the CBN would support credit bureaux to enhance credit and economic growth.
Emefiele, who was represented by the Branch Controller, CBN Lagos, Mr. James Iyari, said, “The CBN has recently approved the payment of one-off sign on fees with credit bureaux for all the microfinance banks and other micro financial institutions licensed by the CBN in order to support effective use of the infrastructure provided by the private credit bureaux with a view to deepening the subsector.
“The credit bureaux have been recording steady increase in the number of registered borrowers. From a mere 78,189 in December 2010, the total number grew to 18,640,000 in June 2012. The number as of 30 June, 2016 stood at 33, 456, 922. I want to commend the bureau operators for this feat and charge them not to rest on their oars as we still have more grounds to cover if we must have a robust credit reporting system in Nigeria.”
Emefiele said the CBN in collaboration with the IFC had continued to provide training to operators and regulators in order to build capacity in the credit reporting industry.
The Chairman, CBAN, Mrs. Jameelah Sharrieff-Ayedun, who is also the Managing Director of CreditRegistry Services, in her welcome address, expressed optimism that the contribution of the credit bureau segment of the financial services sector would have immense impact on the growth of the economy.
She said, “I strongly believe we will consolidate on past successes, enhance the promotion of regulations and policies that will improve access to credit, deepen our strategic business ties and grow the credit bureau segment, financial services sector and Nigeria will get better for it.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other financial Institutions, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim, while answering questions on the sidelines of the conference, applauded the contributions of credit bureaus in the country, especially in the area of identity management.