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FCCPC moves to protect consumers against regulatory infractions in digital lending

Dr. Abdullahi Adamu, Acting Executive Vice-Chairman and CEO of FCCPC

*Dr. Abdullahi Adamu, Acting Executive Vice-Chairman and CEO of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, discloses the market regulator is intensifying enforcement efforts and adopting a zero-tolerance stance towards any exploitation of consumers or abusive conduct by the Digital Money Lenders in Nigeria

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

In an effort at ensuring consumer protection, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has expressed its readiness to enforce regulations against digital money lending violations in Nigeria.

The market regulatory Commission Monday, February 5, 2024, stated this measure to protect consumers’ interest is pursuant to Sections 17(a), (e), (g), (h), (l), (m), (s), (x), (v), 18(3), 123, 124, 127, 129 and 130 of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act (FCCPA), 2018.

Dr. Abdullahi Adamu, Acting Executive Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of FCCPC, said in the statement: “The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, as part of the continuing investigation and monitoring of Digital Money Lenders (DMLs), has observed an upsurge in violations of the Inter agency Joint Task Force’s Limited Interim Regulatory/Registration Framework and Guidelines for Digital Lending 2022.

“The Commission understands the increased demand for loans during this time of year, leading to an increased risk of default due to large numbers and typical cash flow challenges and constraints.”

However, in a move to counter identified upsurge in regulatory violations, the FCCPC noted that the solution could not be to violate law or utilise unethical recovery methods.

The EVC/CEO of the Commission said: “As such, the Commission is intensifying enforcement efforts and adopting a zero-tolerance stance towards any exploitation of consumers or abusive conduct, whether in balance calculations, loan default enforcement, or recovery processes.

“In addition, in the coming days, the Commission will be engaging approved loan apps with respect to a more robust compliance framework including any additional requirements where applicable, and possible mechanisms for otherwise blacklisted apps.”

Adamu also noted that the Commission would welcome demonstrated and timely compliance by all legitimate operators in order to promote and enhance fairness to consumers and fairness among competitors.

He stated: ‘With respect to operators that do not possess the Commission’s approval, the scrutiny process will include law enforcement action against such, in addition to regulatory prohibition and consequences.”

The FCCPC restated its  commitment to ensuring legal and ethical operations in digital lending; and encourages consumers to consider/patronise only approved DMLs (list available at www.fccpc.gov.ng). Feedback and complaint may be forwarded to: lenderstaskforce@fccpc.gov.ng.

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