CBN licenses 9 community banks as finance institution

Sep 2006
Gbola Subair, Abuja , September, 26 2006 - Nine community banks have been given the nod by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to operate as microfinance institutions.

According to the Nigerian Tribune findings, many operators of community banks are now sending their applications for conversion to microfinance banks to the CBN on a daily basis.

The apex bank, it was gathered, is now working round the clock to ensure that the deluge of applications from operators of community banks are processed.

Although, September 20, 2006 is the deadline set for community banks to transform into microfinance institutions, while the certification would be complete, the apex bank is still receiving application forms from prospective microfinance operators.

It was also gathered by the Nigerian Tribune that, in order to ensure that many community banks scale through the hurdle of becoming a microfinance institution, the CBN had, through circular DFID/DO/CIR/VOL1484, minimised the cost of transformation.

According to the circular, the application fees of between N50,000 and N100,000 and the licensing fee of between N100,000 and N250,000 had been waived. The apex bank had also abolished N5,000 fee for change of name payable by community bank operators.

The Director, Other Financial Institutions of the apex bank, Mr. Samuel Oni, who signed the circular, said the reason for the waiver was to enable more operators of the community banks to change to microfinance institutions.

He said the era of non-certified persons becoming directors in financial institutions was over, as directors of the incoming microfinance institutions must be certified.


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