The federal government has decided to control some of the illegal, unhealthy and unfair practices in the money lending industry.
The government has decided, through the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to open an investigation into the violation of rights in the money lending industry.
The disclosure is contained in a document signed by FCCPC chief executive Mr. Babatunde Irukera, on behalf of the Joint Regulatory and Enforcement Committee, in Abuja on Monday, according to the Nigerian News Agency.
What the CEO of FCCPC said on behalf of the Joint Committee
Irukera said the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) and the National Information Technology Development Agency were also members, adding that the committee would lead efforts to tackle the multiple potentially questionable behaviors of some lenders. ‘money, otherwise known as usurers.
Irukera said the meeting decided to collaborate, to pursue urgent execution measures against already known offenders while investigating others, as well as criminal prosecution where appropriate.
He regretted that the act was quickly becoming a dominant and abusive practice targeting some of the most vulnerable people in society.
Irukera’s statement reads: ”The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission on November 10, 2021; hosted a meeting attended by the Director General of the Independent Commission on Corrupt Practices (ICPC) and representatives of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and the Central Bank of Nigeria ( CBN); conduct of certain money lenders, also known as loan sharks.
“Persistent complaints about questionable refund enforcement practices, including public humiliation and breaches of privacy, have resulted in significant and understandable worsening and consumer dissatisfaction.
“Others are arbitrary, unfair, unreasonable or exploitative interest rates.
“Initial investigations show that many of the purported lenders are not legally established in an acceptable manner or otherwise authorized by the relevant authorities to engage in the services they ostensibly provide.
“A joint working group of analysts and application managers was also created and immediately activated.
“Agencies have recognized and welcomed products and providers that fill the credit gap for consumers who would otherwise be ineligible for conventional loans from traditional financial institutions.
“However, this must happen within legally acceptable parameters of transparency and fairness. “
Irukera further revealed that a dedicated email address, which is [email protected], was created by the commission to receive complaints, the identity of companies or individuals involved in these practices.
What you should know
It is no longer news that many Nigerians have bitterly complained about the illegal and terrible practices of these credit companies who openly lie against their defaulting clients while invading their privacy.
Recall that the federal government previously revealed that many money lending companies in Nigeria are not registered with the relevant authorities and operate illegally.
Money lending companies have also been accused of perfecting the use of rude methods similar to Shylock’s tactics to force loan repayments on their customers. They also employ various illegal means against anyone unlucky enough to default on any loan taken out to them.
They share information about a customer’s debt with friends and family through numbers taken from their phone contact list, declaring that customer a fraudster and defrauding the money lending company.