The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has launched the CBN Licensing, Approval and Other Requests Portal (CBN LARP), for the submission of microfinance bank (MFB) licence applications.
According to Isa AbdulMumin, the portal will replace the manual process that is currently used for MFB licence applications. From September 25, applicants will be required to submit both hardcopy and online applications through the CBN LARP, until December 30, 2023, when manual submissions will become obsolete.
The portal was inactive at the time of this report.
AbdulMumin noted that "the Bank shall continue to accept manual applications for all other licence types until further notice". "In due course, the Bank will extend the platform to other categories of licences. The online application system offers numerous benefits, including a simplified process, time savings, enhanced communication, and robust security measures," he added.
Know more about mircofinance banking in Nigeria
MFB is any company licensed by the CBN to carry on the business of providing financial services such as savings and deposits, loans, domestic funds transfer, and non-financial services to microfinance clients, especially the economically active poor, low-income households, the unbanked and underserved people; particularly vulnerable groups such as women, youths and the physically challenged, and informal sector operators; micro-entrepreneurs and subsistence farmers.
According to the CBN, MFB licence in Nigeria is categorised into three based on the geographical spread:
- A Unit MFB licensed to operate in one location. It shall be required to have a minimum paid-up capital of N20 million.
- A State MFB licensed to operate within a specific state or F.C.T. and can open branches or cash centers within the same state or the F.C.T. subject to a prior written approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria. It shall be required to have a minimum paid-up capital of N100 million.
- A National MFB licensed to operate in more than one state including the Federal Capital Territory and can open branches in all states of the Federation and the F.C.T. subject to a prior written approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria. It shall be required to have a minimum paid-up capital of N2 billion.
The fact section about MFB was curated from the CBN's website