The Federal Government has moved to check some of the illegal, unwholesome and unfair practices in the money lending industry.
The government have resolved to specifically through the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) commence rights violation investigation into the money lending industry.
This disclosure is contained in a document signed by the Chief Executive Officer of FCCPC, Mr Babatunde Irukera, on behalf of the Joint Regulatory and Enforcement Committee, in Abuja on Monday, according to the News Agency of Nigeria.
What the CEO of FCCPC said on behalf of the Joint Committee
Irukera said that the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) and the National Information Technology Development Agency were also members adding that the committee would lead efforts to address multiple potentially dubious conducts of certain money lenders, otherwise known as loan sharks.
Irukera said that the meeting resolved to collaborate, pursue urgent enforcement action against already known violators while investigating others, as well as criminal prosecutions where applicable.
He regretted that the act was fast becoming a dominant and abusive practice targeting some of the most vulnerable in society.
The statement from Irukera reads, ‘’The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission on November 10, 2021; hosted a meeting attended by the Chief Executive Officer of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), and representatives of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN);in leading an effort to address multiple potentially dubious conduct of certain money lenders, otherwise known as loan sharks.
“Continuing complaints about questionable repayment enforcement practices including public shaming and violations of privacy have led to significant and understandable consumer aggravation and dissatisfaction.
“Others are arbitrary, unjust, unreasonable, or exploitative interest rates and or loan balances calculations, harassment and failure of consumer feedback mechanisms, among others have caused consumer aggravation.
“Initial inquiries demonstrate that many of the purported lenders are not legally acceptably established or otherwise licensed by the appropriate authorities to engage in the services they ostensibly provide.
“A joint taskforce of analysts and enforcers was also created and immediately activated.
“The agencies recognised and welcome products and providers that bridge the lending gap for consumers who would otherwise be ineligible for conventional loans from traditional financial institutions.
“However, this must occur within legally acceptable parameters of transparency and fairness.’’
Irukera further revealed that a dedicated email address, which is firstname.lastname@example.org, has been created by the commission to receive complaints, identity of businesses or individuals involved in these practices.
What you should know
It’s no longer news that many Nigerians have complained bitterly about the illegal and terrible practices by these lending companies who blatantly lie against their defaulting customers while invading their privacies.
Recall that the federal government had earlier revealed that many money lending companies in Nigeria are not registered with appropriate authorities and are carrying out their businesses illegally.
The money lending companies have also been accused of perfecting the use of crude methods similar to Shylock tactics to enforce loan repayment from their customers. They also employ different illegal ways against anyone unlucky enough to default on any loan taken from them.
They share information about a customer’s debt with his or her friends and family through numbers retrieved from their phone contacts list, declaring such customer a fraudster and who had defrauded the money-lending company.