- Inlaks Lauds CBN for Licensing 28 Microfinance Banks
Inlaks, a financial technology solutions provider in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa, has commended the Central Bank of Nigeria for licensing additional 28 microfinance banks in the country.
This brings the number of microfinance banks in the country to 1,008, representing an increase of three per cent in that sector from 2016.
Speaking on this development, the Executive Director, Inlaks, Olufemi Muraino, explained that the move was essential in order to effectively ensure the development of the Nigerian economy.
He said, “The licensing of additional 28 MFBs in 15 states by the CBN is a welcome development, which will not only attract investors and new businesses but also boost the nation’s economy and deepen financial inclusion in the country.”
Muraino explained that this was an opportunity to integrate the newly licensed MFBs into the National Association of Microfinance Banks Unified IT Platform to ensure a better regulatory framework. NAMBUIT is an institutional collaboration between Inlaks, CBN and the National Association of Microfinance Banks.
A statement by Inlaks stated that it was partnering the CBN to deploy a single-core and agent-banking solution in almost 1,000 microfinance banks in the country under the auspices of NAMBUIT.
According to the firm, the banking solution is expected to link the MFBs in Nigeria to the platform of the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System to enable the MFBs to engage the money deposit banks in a seamless transaction.
A core benefit of the NAMBUIT project, Muraino said, was the integration of the MFBs into the national payment system, which would significantly lower the operating costs of the MFBs via provision of robust core and agent banking solutions for branchless banking in the microfinance sector.
The statement read in part, “The first phase of this project comprises three major components, one of which is the connection of the MFBs to the NIBSS so that they can interface with the commercial banks. NAMBUIT is expected to incorporate business intelligence tools for reporting so that the MFBs can transact and switch among themselves.
“Inlaks is providing the MFBs with a globally-rated core banking solutions that integrate easily into the Biometric Verification Number scheme. This core banking solution will enable the MFBs to work efficiently and scale their services.
“What we have discovered with the MFBs is that a significant number of these banks use some sub-optimal solutions, which hinder efficiency,” he said.
According to Muraino, Information Technology solutions cost is a significant portion of the operating expenses of the MFBs, creating serious financial impact on their operational self-sufficiency.
He added that the NAMBUIT project would reduce operational cost, deepen collaboration within the microfinance community and spur significant growth in the sector.
This, he said, was by improving access to accurate and timely operational and financial information for prompt decision making.