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CBN releases reference codes for MFBs

By Amaka Abayomi
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has released a list of reference codes for online renditions of returns for microfinance banks (MFBs).
The CBN, in a release on its website on Monday, said that the move followed the conclusion of the workshop on “On-line rendition of returns to the CBN by MFBs” held on November 1, 2010.

It explained that the codes would enhance efficiency of electronic data capture, using an Excel based Master File – monthly report format on FINA system. To this end, codes have been assigned to each MFB in Nigeria for ease of reference.

According to the release, “Consequently, all licensed microfinance banks in Nigeria are expected to download the list and complete their monthly returns using the codes assigned therein and forward same to the CBN as directed, commencing from the January 2011 returns, which would be due by February 14, 2011.”

Speaking at an earlier occasion, the CBN listed the challenges MFBs faced in the course of rendering their returns to the apex bank to include late or non rendition of returns, incomplete and falsification of returns.

Others are clerical errors, wrong classifications of items, and outright failure to balance the Total Assets with the Total Liabilities.
The CBN stressed that it will no longer continue to accept such irregularities.

“As operators in the financial industry, you are expected to provide financial information that are credible and in a manner acceptable to the regulatory authorities.

“The responsibilities for rendition of returns are clearly stated in Section 331 (1) and (2) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act of 1990. These extensive provisions are further supported by Section 24 (1) and (2) of the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA)  Section 6.2 (i) of the Regulatory and Supervisory Guidelines for Microfinance Banks in Nigeria.


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