Engaging in Money lending business in Abuja requires a license

Obtaining a Money lending license in Abuja is a requirement for any business that wants to engage in micro or digital lending. Money lending is a practice that has existed over time as a way for people to obtain credit facilities to facilitate trade and business or to meet some personal dire need. This practice is subject to abuse as most debtors can be held to stringent and oppressive terms.


MONEY LENDING LAWS

This has led to the establishment of various money lending and credit facility laws intended to protect the debtor and regulate the activities of the lenders. Money Lending License in Abuja is regulated.  Hence the appropriate license has to be applied for and obtained before an entity or an individual or state of the Federation has its own Money Lending Laws.

The practice of money lending has evolved over time and in the modern form is seen mostly with banks. Although banks render credit facility services to consumers, this does not make them “money lenders” per se. There are specific organizations and individuals whose sole business object is to borrow money to others, these are the set of people that we will be focusing on in this article.

HOW TO BECOME A LICENSED MONEY LENDER?

Money lenders are people or businesses whose sole business is that of money lending and any person who lends money on interest or who lends a sum of money with the expectation of a larger sum being repaid. Person in this definition could be corporate of individual.

As technological advancements have digitized major financial operations globally, it is possible to have digital money lenders. However, there can be difficulties regulating this category of money lenders. This is because digital operations cannot be restricted like personal transactions where people have to actually meet, a person as far away as Sokoto can use a mobile phone to request for credit facility from a company based in Delta.

Thus, a Financial Technology (FINTECH) company seeking to engage in money lending business through mobile technology or by digital means must also obtain a money lending license from each and every state such a company intends to operate its business.

MONEY LENDING LICENSE IN ABUJA

An individual or company will only be a legitimate money lender, if such obtains the Money Lender License to practice in Nigeria. One of the benefits of being a licensed money lender is that a money lender can exercise its right to recover a debt from a defaulting borrower by instituting an action in Court to recover the principal loan and accrued interest. Many people in Nigeria go into the business of money lending without obtaining the licence, this is a dangerous practice which is punishable by law. Asides from legal sanction, the option to resort to court to enforce repayment of a loan might be difficult without the appropriate license.

HOW DO I GET A MONEY LENDERS LICENSE IN ABUJA?

An individual or company can be licensed to carry on the practice of money lending in Nigeria but it is advisable to incorporate a company with the CAC and license the company. The requirements to obtain a money lenders licence are:

  1. A cover letter with the Company seal affixed to it. The cover letter must contain the following information:

    • True name of Applicant (if the Applicant is a company, the name of the company should be stated here).

    • Private address of the Applicant, or in the case of a company, the registered address of the company.

    • Name under which it is desired to carry out the money lending business.

    • Address where the money lending business will be conducted.

    • True names and addresses of the partners or other directors, if any.

    • Name of person or persons (other than the business owners or partners) responsible or proposed to be responsible for the management of the business. In the case of a company, the names of the Directors, Treasurer and Secretary should be given.

    • Date of issue of any previous certificate and the name and address authorized by any such previous certificate.

    • If previously registered as a moneylender under the Moneylenders Law or any repealed Ordinance, the date of such registration and the name and address under which the Applicant was registered.

    • If registered under Part B of the Companies and Allied Matters Act as a Business Name, the date of registration and name and address under which the Business Name was registered should be included.

    • Particulars of any convictions under any existing or repealed Law relating to money lending of the Applicant, partners, or any other person responsible or proposed to be responsible for the management of the business.

    • Particulars of any order of the Moneylenders Law suspending or forfeiting the certificate of the Applicant or partners or any person responsible for the management of the business, as well as any order disqualifying them from obtaining a certificate.

    • Particulars of any refusal of a certificate to the Applicant or partners or any person responsible for the management of the business.

  2. Official address of the Individual applicant or Company.

  3. Office address of the Individual applicant or Company.

  4. Certified True Copy of the CAC Form 1.1 Showing the authorized share capital and the particulars of the directors.

  5. Memorandum and Articles of Association of the Company.

  6. Certificate of Incorporation of the Company.

  7. Tax Clearance for the individual applicant or Corporate Body, if it is a company newly incorporated, then provide evidence that the company is a registered tax payer and has obtained a Tax Identification Number.

  8. Police Clearance for the Individual applicant or Company.

  9. Evidence of maintenance of a current account with a licensed Bank.


HOW DO I GET A LENDING LICENSE FOR MONEY?

Step One

The first step to take in obtaining a money lenders licence is to submit an application to the Magistrate Court. The essence of submitting this application is to attest to a person’s good character. This attestation of good character is issued in respect of the person submitting the application (the money lender himself) and not the business name or company.

A cover letter is submitted with the required documents to the Magistrate Court in the area where the money lending business is to be carried out. The application letter must be sent in 14 days before the actual application for the money lenders licence is made to the Ministry. The fee payable to the magistrate is N200.

If the application is successful, the applicant will be issued with;

  1. A certificate that carries the name of the applicant, business name or company name and the address of operation of the company or business;

  2. Letter from the Chief Magistrate Court Registry. This letter is addressed to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs, confirming due compliance and recommending the issuance of the Money lending License Certificate;

  3. Moneylenders Ordinance (Form B) 1938;

  4. Moneylenders Regulations Form of Moneylenders License (Form C) which needs to be completed by the Applicant.

Step Two

The applicant applies to the Ministry of Home Affairs and Tourism with the documents issued at the Magistrate Court. The documents are submitted with the same annexures that were mentioned earlier with the evidence of payment of N10,000 for application fee. After payment, an invoice for payment of N50,000 moneylenders fee is given to the applicant with an application form. The application form is duly filled and submitted back to the Ministry with evidence of payment of the N50,000.

Step Three

After payment and due compliance with the above requirements, the Ministry opens a file where all the annexures are inserted for easier future reference and a date is fixed for inspection of the address of operation of the business.

Step Four

The inspection is carried out on the agreed date by officers of the Ministry. The officers inspect the record books and staff of the company if they already commenced business before the application and where it is a new company yet to begin operation, the premises and staff will be inspected. It is after the inspection of the premises that the Money Lending Licence is issued to the applicant.

MONEY LENDERS LAW IN NIGERIA?

There are number of money lenders registered in Abuja. Some of these organizations have used technological innovations to drive efficiencies, cut costs and expand opportunities. These Organizations also known as FINTECH Companies are digital lending platforms which utilise borrowers’ data to verify their identity, assess their creditworthiness or ability to repay the loan, and ensure loans are repaid in good me. The Nigeria Data Protection Regulation Act, 2019, places an obligation on digital lenders as Data Controllers to disclose what data is being processed, the specific purpose of processing the data, and obtain consent of the Data Subjects to process the data. The Data Subject must also be informed of his right and the ability to withdraw his consent at any time.


HOW MUCH IS NIGERIAN LENDING LICENSE?

The cost for Obtaining a Money Lending License in Nigeria varies from state to state. The average cost is between N300,000 (Three hundred thousand Naira) and N450,000 (Four hundred and fifty thousand Naira)


HOW TO BE A LICENSED MONEY LENDER IN ABUJA

Sidebrief is a private one-stop shop that helps businesses and start-ups manage statutory and regulatory compliance, engage with regulators and stakeholders and automate recurrent compliance process. We understand that ease of doing business in Nigeria can be an illusion, but we are helping to change the narrative by letting businesses focus on their customers, whilst we focus on their compliance in Nigeria. We are able to help traditional or FINTECH Companies with obtaining a Money Lending License in Abuja and any part of Nigeria.

We are happy to discuss how we may help your business.

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