FCPC, ICPC, EFCC Declare Fresh ‘War’ Against Online Money-Lenders, Loan Sharks

FCPC, ICPC, EFCC Declare Fresh ‘War’ Against Online Money-Lenders, Loan Sharks

  • The federal government says it is ready to clamp down on online loan lenders following public outcry
  • Recall that thousands of Nigerians have alleged that the loan sharks are defaming them after invading their privacy
  • Some of the rogue online lending apps include Sokoloan, NOWCASH, LCredit, 9Credit, 9jacash, among others

After months of warning, the Federal Consumer Protection Council (FCPC) has revealed that all is now set for them to clamp down on owners of lending apps who pry into the privacy of their customers.

Legit.ng reports that amid the economic hardship across the country, small loan companies have emerged online, offering their customers loans with heavy interests on repayment.

FG declares war against loan sharks
The federal government says it is ready to clampdown on online loan lenders following public outcry. Photo: Femi Adesina
Source: Facebook

Legit.ng has listed some of the online lending apps to include Sokoloan, NOWCASH, LCredit, 9Credit, 9jacash, among others.

We will deal with loan sharks very soon - FCPC

Speaking with Legit.ng, an official of the FCPC who does not want his name mentioned said many things are being done regarding the lending apps, which he said is now called 'loan shark.’

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He said:

“We took an action against those lenders before and we even issued a statement. That statement is still valid. we had a joint meeting with the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related offenders Commission, ICPC, and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN and National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA. We made a resolution to shut down most of the apps.”

Negative effects of loan sharks

Speaking on the negative effects of loan sharks on the society, the official said some people have gone to the point of committing suicide due to the pressure and public humiliation they face from the lenders.

He told a story of how a man collapsed after he received a message from the lender about his son’s debt who borrowed N13,000. According to him, the broadcast sent out which the father also received said the interests had risen to N500,000.

The official added:

“ Upon receiving the message, his father collapsed. This goes to explain how dangerous the activities of these lenders are to the society. We are doing something about it, and very-very soon, loan sharks shall become a thing of the past. NITDA has been able to use its technology to clamp down on some of them. Incidentally, some of them are not within the country. They are just taking advantage of our situation. In a short while, you will see what will happen."

Agencies’ joint statement on loan sharks

FCPC had earlier in a statement tagged “FCCPC, ICPC, EFCC, NITDA, NHRC and CBN to jointly investigate rights violations in money-lending industry,” said a joint meeting held on November 10, 2021 to factor out ways to address multiple potentially dubious conduct of certain money lenders, otherwise known as loan sharks.

In the statement signed by Babatunde Irukera, the Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive of the FCPC said:

“The meeting resolved to collaborate, pursue urgent enforcement action against already known violators while investigating others, as well as criminal prosecutions where applicable. A joint task force of analysts and enforcers was also created and immediately activated.”

Nigerians still under pressure

But Nigerians have continued to complain about the constant exploitation, harassment and other questionable repayment enforcement imposed on them by the lenders. Some of them include public shaming, violations of privacy, exploitative interest rates and many others.

Legit.ng has observed that the online loan apps call relatives and friends of their customers to threaten action against them. They also broadcast their details to the public upon failing to repay their loans.

Federal government to prosecute Sokoloan, NowCash, others over privacy abuse

Recall that Legit.ng had reported that some federal government agencies have resolved to commence investigations of rights violations in money-lending industry.

This was disclosed in a statement by the Federal Competition & Consumer Protection Commission. The agency revealed that the investigation will be carried out in conjunction with Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and Central Bank of Nigeria.

According to many Nigerians who have fallen victims of some of these companies, in efforts to recover their money, some of these loan companies employ illegal means to force customers to repay their loans, including blatant lies and threats.

Source: Legit.ng

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