The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced that mobile money operators, including fintech firms such as OPay, Palmpay, Kuda Bank, and Moniepoint, will be able to resume the enrolment of new customers in the coming months.

This announcement was made by CBN Governor Olayemi Cardoso during the 295th Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting, where the interest rate was increased from 24.75 percent to 26.25 percent.

Governor Cardoso stated that the CBN has been collaborating with these operators to enhance their operational frameworks to mitigate risks related to money laundering and illicit financial flows. The CBN has introduced remedial measures aimed at tightening the onboarding processes and managing the existing customer base more effectively.

“I am confident that as time goes on, and hopefully in another couple of months, all these will be something of the past, and then you will see that sector going back into what they’ve been known to do before, but certainly with a very stronger regulatory framework,” said Cardoso.

In April, the CBN had prohibited fintech companies from onboarding new customers, which was interpreted as a crackdown on the financial sub-sector. However, Governor Cardoso clarified that this decision was not a crackdown but a necessary measure to address regulatory concerns.

He emphasized that the fintechs have not been singled out for exceptional treatment and that the CBN remains proud of their contributions over the years. The CBN aims to continue supporting and strengthening the fintech sector while ensuring that regulatory measures are in place to prevent illicit flows and money laundering.

Cardoso explained that the rapid growth of the fintech sector necessitated heightened regulatory surveillance. The CBN, in collaboration with security agencies, has been working to identify areas that require stricter regulations and oversight.

“For that reason, we were concerned with respect to how we saw the issue of anti-money laundering and illicit flows as they made their way within the various sub-sectors of the financial industry and we felt there was a need for us to take a breather and work with different players to strengthen regulations, not by any means to throw them out of business,” he added.

Governor Cardoso also assured that the CBN has not revoked the licenses of any fintech organizations and that the efforts are focused on enhancing the regulatory framework to support sustainable growth in the sector.



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