By Emma Okonji
Inlaks, a financial technology (Fintech) solutions provider in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa, has commended the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for licensing additional 28 Micro Finance Banks (MFBs) in the country.
The additional licensing brought the number of microfinance banks in the country to 1,008, representing an increase of three per cent in the sector from 2016 to date.
Speaking on the development, Executive Director at Inlaks, Olufemi Muraino explained that the move was essential in order to effectively ensure the development of the Nigerian economy. He said: â€œThe 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 will also boost the nationâ€™s economy and further deepen financial inclusion in the country.â€
Muraino further explained that this was an opportunity to integrate the newly licensed MFBs into the National Association of Microfinance Banks Unified IT Platform (NAMBUIT) to ensure a better regulatory framework.
Already, Inlaks is partnering CBN to deploy a single core and agent banking solution for almost 1,000 microfinance banks in the country under the auspices of the NAMBUIT
The banking solution is expected to link the Microfinance Banks in Nigeria to the platform of the Nigeria Inter Bank Settlement System [NIBSS] to enable the MFBs to engage the cash deposit banks in a seamless transaction.
A core benefit of the NAMBUIT project, according to Muraino, is on-boarding of MFBs into the national payment system which will 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 first phase of the project comprises three major components, one of which is the connection of MFBs to NIBBS so that they can interface with the commercial banks. The 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 integrates easily into the biometric verification number (BVN) scheme. This core banking solution will enable the MFBs to work efficiently and scale their services.Â â€œWhat we have discovered with the MFBs is that a significant number of these banks use some sub-optimal solutions which hinder efficiency, Muraino said.