Money Lending: FCCPC partner CBN, ICPC to bring offenders to justice

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) on Monday, convened a meeting with the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to address multiple dubious conduct of some money-lenders, otherwise known as loan sharks.

Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the FCCPC, Babatunde Irukera who presided over the meeting which was attended by the Chairman of the ICPC, Prof Bolaji Owasanoye, said the collaborating authorities resolved to work together to address continuing complaints about questionable repayment enforcement practices including public shaming and violations of privacy, arbitrary, unjust, unreasonable, or exploitative interest rates and or loan balances calculations, harassment, and failure of consumer feedback mechanisms among others, have led to significant and understandable consumer aggravation and dissatisfaction.

He said that initial inquiries revealed that many of the purported lenders operate without the requisite permission, adding that they are not licensed by the appropriate authorities to engage in the services they apparently provide.

The collaborating authorities resolved to work together to enforce action against already known violators while investigating others, as well as criminal prosecutions where applicable.

A joint taskforce of analysts and enforcers was also created and immediately activated.

Babatunde Irukera, the Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of the Commission thanked the invited agencies for the swift responses and willingness to collaborate in addressing what he described as “a dominant and abusive practice targeting some of the most vulnerable in the society.”

The FCCPC CEO who spoke for the Joint Regulatory and Enforcement Task Force said: “The agencies recognize and welcome products and providers that bridge or close the lending gap to consumers who would otherwise be ineligible for conventional loans from traditional financial institutions, as well as the scalability and ease of access to financing for many people,” adding that this must occur within legally acceptable parameters of transparency and fairness.

He said in line with resolutions of the collaborating authorities, the Commission is already coordinating the government’s response, adding that it has created a dedicated email address to receive complaints, and information about any experiences, identity of businesses or individuals involved in these practices, or any other relevant information that may be helpful to the investigation.

The e-mail address is lenderstaskforce@fccpc.gov.ng, he added.

Leave a Reply