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Nigerian news: 37 microfinance banks regain licence

The Central Bank of Nigeria has restored the licenses of 37 out of the 244 mircofinance banks that had their licences revoked

Matthias Umeh, President of National Association of Microfinance Banks (NAMB), told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the licences of the 37 banks were restored because they were mistakenly revoked.

NAN reported that the CBN had on September 24 revoked the licences of 224 microfinance banks for not meeting individual deadlines to correct the lapses observed in their operations.

Umeh said that more of the banks might be reopened because the CBN was looking into their petitions.

“CBN is checking the appeal letters from some of the banks and treating them on merit.

“Besides, NAMB has appealed to CBN to take a closer look at the records of the affected banks and restore the licences that ought not to have been revoked,” Umeh said.

He disagreed with a suggestion by some financial experts that a separate body be set up by the government to handle microfinance banking.

Umeh said that such a body was not necessary, adding that the CBN had not failed in the exercise of its control over microfinance banks.

“Unless the CBN deems it fit to relinquish such a role to another body like in the case of the National Board for Community Banks (NBCB), I do not see what is wrong with the present arrangement,” he said.