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How to Procure a Money Lender’s License in Nigeria: The Key Legal Requirements

The procurement of a Money Lenders license from the relevant government authority gives a corporation permission to function as a money lender.

The procurement of a money lenders license is very fundamental to operating as a money lender as it regulated by law. Without this license, a company would be unable to carry on the business of lending money.


A Money Lender is any incorporated company carrying on the business of lending money at a specified interest rate. The primary regulatory framework governing the operation of Money Lending is the Money Lenders Law promulgated by various states in Nigeria.

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) also regulates money lending activities in Nigeria paying particular attention to consumer rights.

Regulatory Framework for Procuring a Money Lender’s License

There are several laws and regulations that govern Money Lending in Nigeria. Some of which include the following:

Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2020

CAMA generally provides the major regulatory framework for the incorporation, operation, and administration of business activities in Nigeria. The law mandates anyone seeking to carry out business activities in Nigeria to register a company or a business name.

The government agency responsible for the incorporation of businesses and the administration of CAMA is the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). A person seeking to procure a Money Lender’s license must first register a company or business with the CAC, as proof of a Certificate of Incorporation is a requirement for procuring a license.

Central Bank of Nigeria Act 2007

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is the primary regulatory body for financial institutions in Nigeria. The CBN Act gives the Central Bank the authority to regulate money lending activities, set interest rates and enforce compliance.

The Act also donates powers to the CBN to issue Consumer Protection Regulations which stipulate the standard on fair treatment of consumers, disclosure and transparency, deployment of debt recovery process, customer feedback and protection of customer’s personal information.

Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2018 (the “Act”)

The Act establishes the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (the “FCCPC”), which is responsible for protecting the rights of consumers of financial services.

The FCCPC is tasked with responsibility and authority to investigate complaints, enforce compliance with regulations, and impose sanctions on moneylenders that violate consumer rights. The FCCPC also requires all digital moneylenders to submit their source of funds.

Having highlighted the regulatory framework for money lending in Nigeria, we would now examine the legal requirement for procuring a Money Lenders license with reference to Lagos State, Nigeria.

In Lagos State the regulatory framework guiding money lending business operation is the Money Lenders Law Chapter 7, Laws of Lagos State.

It should be noted that only a corporation licensed to be a moneylender by the law is permitted to be a moneylender. It may be worthy of note that it is only a money lender that may exercise the right to recover the principal and accruable interest from a defaulting customer in a court case.

A money lender under the law of Lagos State “includes every [person] whose business is that of moneylending or who carries on or advertises or announces himself or holds himself out in any way as carrying on that business, whether he also possesses or owns property or money derived from sources other than the lending of money and whether or not he carries on the business as a principal or as an agent; “

The Lagos State law also provide that ‘’any [person] who lends money at interest or who lends a sum of money in consideration of a larger sum being repaid shall be presumed to be a moneylender until the contrary be proved”.

Procedure For Obtaining a Money Lender’s License

  1. An applicant shall write an application letter to the Chief Magistrate within the magisterial jurisdiction where the business will be carried out.
  • The application shall be supported by the relevant documents which include;
  1. Certified True Copy of the CAC Incorporation Documents
  2. Certificate of Incorporation of the Company.
  3. Memorandum and Article of Association of the Company.
  4. Tax clearance for the company or individual and evidence that the company is a registered taxpayer.
  5. Three-year tax clearance for at least 2 directors of the company where the applicant is a company.
  6. Police clearance for the applicant.
  7. Reference Letter from the applicant’s bank.
  • Upon receipt of the application by the Chief Magistrate, the applicant will be issued a letter and Forms B and C.
  • After issuance of the necessary documents by the Chief Magistrate, the applicant is to make a formal application to the Ministry of Home Affairs and Tourism with the relevant documents attached.
  • The applicant will also proceed to make payment of the official fee into the account of the Lagos State Government.
  • The applicant shall also make payment for the Application Form and shall be issued a receipt evidencing payment.
  • The final stage of the application is the visitation and physical inspection of the money lender’s office by the government officials.
  • Where the government officials are satisfied that the company has fully complied with the statutory requirements, the applicant will be issued with the Money Lenders License.

The license is valid for a period of one (1) and must be renewed upon expiration. It is usually advisable that Solicitors with considerable experience in procuring Money Lenders license be tasked with this process.

Estimated Time Frame for Obtaining a Money Lender’s License

The estimated timeframe for procuring a Money Lender’s license from the stage of application to the last stage of visitation and inspection takes a period of 1-3 months to conclude if all assessment and required fees are paid as quickly as possible and there are no queries or defects in the file/documents of the applicant.


The procurement of a Money Lender’s license is regulated by law to protect both the borrower and the lender. It is therefore imperative that any company in the money lending business must procure a license and comply with the provision to carry on this business.

Berkeley Legal is a leading business law firm in Nigeria. We provide comprehensive and sophisticated range of specialized and personalized legal services that are designed to meet the various needs of highly diversified local and international businesses.

If you would like to know more about Procuring a Money Lender’s license, please contact us at

The information provided in this article is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

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