The CBN Launches the Licensing, Approvals and Other Requests Portal (LARP)
The Central Bank of Nigeria (the “CBN”) through a press release dated September 20, 2023 announced the launch of the Licensing, Approvals and Other Requests Portal (LARP). The LARP is developed to digitise the application process for licences, approvals and other requests granted by the CBN. The goal is for the LARP to eventually replace the current manual process wherein prospective applicants for a CBN licence physically submit their applications to the CBN.
The CBN will launch the LARP platform by starting with applications for Microfinance Bank (MFB) licences. With time, the CBN will extend the platform to other categories of licences.
The online application system offers numerous benefits. This includes a simplified process for applying for CBN licences and approvals, saving time, enhancing communication between the applicants and the apex Bank and creating a robust security measure. By digitising the application process, the Bank aims to improve accessibility, reduce paperwork, and expedite licence approvals, benefiting both applicants and the economy.
The CBN further mentioned that starting from September 25, 2023, MFB licence applicants are required to submit both hardcopy and online applications (via the CBN LARP) as part of a parallel run. The cover letter submitting the hardcopy application must also note a valid application reference from the online submission to be accepted. This means that the applicants are expected to submit their applications electronically and manually, however, they must have first completed their online application and include in their cover letter for the manual application an application reference from the online application.
The parallel run will end on December 31, 2023. Thereafter, 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 https://larp.cbn.gov.ng/ to submit their respective MFB licence applications.
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