The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has launched a new online portal for microfinance banks to submit license applications.
Mr Isa AbdulMumin, its Director of Corporate Communications, stated that the portal, known as the CBN Licensing, Approval, and Other Requests Portal (CBN LARP), would be where applications would be processed.
The efforts of Nigeria’s financial institutions regulator to increase operational efficiency prompted the decision to digitize the processes of acquiring licenses to operate microfinance banks. According to experts, the new step would minimize bottlenecks and increase the pace of conducting business.
According to AbdulMumin, the platform would replace the present manual procedure in which applicants for microfinance bank licenses submitted physical applications to the CBN. He said that the new gateway will increase accessibility and save bureaucracy.
“In due course, the CBN will extend the platform to other categories of licences. The online application system offers numerous benefits, including a simplified process, time-saving, enhanced communication, and robust security measures.
“By digitising the application process, the CBN aims to improve accessibility, reduce paperwork, and expedite licence approvals, benefiting both applicants and the economy.
“Consequently, with effect from Sept. 25, microfinance bank licence applicants are required to submit both hardcopy and online applications (via the CBN LARP) as part of a parallel run,’’ he said.
He added that the parallel run would end on Dec. 31, after which the manual submission of hardcopy bank licence applications would no longer be required and accepted.
“From Sept. 25, prospective microfinance bank applicants are urged to log on to www.larp.cbn.gov.ng to submit their applications,’’ AbdulMumin stressed.