The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has disclosed that out of the 131 companies that were registered to operate as loan companies in the country, only 92 secured full approval while the remaining 39 secured conditional approvals.
The Federal government had since 2021, wielded the big stick on loan apps that constantly exploited customers and others with very outrageous interest rates.
The Chief Executive Officer of the FCCPC, Babatunde Irukera, also accused some of the loan apps of resorting to unethical, obnoxious, and unscrupulously exploitative practices in the industry.
To further curb the menace of the loan apps, the FCCPC went ahead to order payment systems operators, telecommunication companies, and Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to stop the illegal loan apps from accessing their services.
To give more backing to the process of delisting the defaulting apps, the FCCPC had last year, issued a 90-day notice to all the digital money lenders to get registered in compliance with the body’s guidelines.
The first notice expired n November 14, 2022, and the FCCPC graciously extended the deadline to January 31, 2023.
This was done in partnership with Google and both sides released a new policy guideline that would require all loan apps operating in Nigeria to provide an approval document from the FCCPC or risk being removed from Google Play Store effective from January 31, 2023.
The Commission again shifted the January 31 deadline to March 27 in order to allow some of the digital money lenders to secure the relevant documentation to complete their registration process.
The FCCPC noted that the 39 loan apps that are yet to secure full operational approval still have some requirements to meet before they can be finally given the license to operate.
Recall that the FCCPC had given the loan companies till March 27, 2023, to register their presence as digital money lenders (popularly known as loan apps) as the online lending space had almost been taken over by quacks with questionable practices.