The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Wednesday announced that it has unveiled a digital platform for the submission of Microfinance Bank (MFB) licence applications.
The apex bank made this known in a statement signed by Isa AbdulMumin, CBN’s Director of Corporate Communications.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is pleased to announce the unveiling of a new online platform for submission of microfinance bank (MFB) licence applications,” the statement said.
According to the statement, the new online platform is called the “CBN Licensing, Approval and Other Requests Portal (CBN LARP)” and it will eventually replace the current manual process wherein prospective applicants for MFB licence physically submit their applications to the CBN.
In due course, it said, the Bank will extend the platform to other categories of licences.
The development came about four months after the CBN revoked the operating licences of 132 microfinance banks, four primary mortgage banks, and three finance companies in the country.
The Apex Bank noted that the online application system offers numerous benefits, including a simplified process, time savings, enhanced communication, and robust security measures.
By digitising the application process, the CBN said the aim is to improve accessibility, reduce paperwork, and expedite licence approvals, benefiting both applicants and the economy.
With effect from 25 September, the apex bank said, MFB licence applicants are required to submit both hardcopy and online applications (via the CBN LARP) as part of a parallel run.
The statement said the cover letter submitting the hardcopy application must have a valid application reference number from the online submission for the application to be accepted.
According to the statement, the parallel run will end on 31 December and the manual submissions of hardcopy MFB licence applications will no longer be required and accepted.
“From September 25, 2023, prospective MFB applicants are urged to log on to www.larp.cbn.gov.ng to submit their respective MFB licence applications,” the CBN said.
It said help and detailed guidance are available within “CBN LARP” to assist users in navigating the new platform and that a user guide can also be downloaded from the platform.
“Applicants may contact the dedicated helpdesk via email at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information. Meanwhile, please note that the Bank shall continue to accept manual applications for all other licence types until further notice,” the statement said.
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