We are shocked by the number of loan apps in Nigeria —Babatunde Irukera
The number of digital money lenders, also known as loan apps, in Nigeria has shocked the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), according to its Chief Executive Officer, Babatunde Irukera. The Commission recently completed a registration process that saw 173 money lenders register, giving a clearer picture of the number of companies operating in the market. Irukera revealed that during the registration, the Commission discovered over 200 digital money lending companies in Nigeria, with some just preparing to start the business. He clarified that not all the registered companies have started lending yet.
Irukera explained that the registration process was necessary because of the proliferation of loan apps and their unethical and abusive lending and recovery practices that have violated the law and people’s privacy. The FCCPC led an interagency team that developed an interim registration framework to address this. The framework required loan app companies to provide transparency about their operations, interest rates, source of funds, and how they handle customers’ information.
Irukera added that the companies that have been registered now are those who have provided sufficient transparency and information to establish these facts. The FCCPC has also partnered with Google to ensure that only approved companies can get on the Play Store, which is one of the most important ways for them to reach their customers. However, Irukera cautioned that registration does not guarantee that all the registered companies are law-abiding, but it will significantly reduce violations of the law. With the information provided by the registered companies, the Commission can easily trace and hold them accountable if they violate any law.