The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission has registered and approved more digital money lenders, also known as loan apps, bringing the total number of enterprises permitted to 211 as of the end of October.
According to The Times, the 211 companies are made up of 39 that have conditional approval from the Commission and 172 that have full approval.
There were 161 enterprises with complete permits as of September of this year, and 40 companies had conditional approvals.
The surge suggests that, in spite of the industry’s damaged reputation due to instances of harassment and defamation of borrowers by unscrupulous lenders, new businesses are emerging to obtain FCCPC permission for the digital lending business.
Additional companies are also being allowed to enter the market as a result of the FCCPC starting to register digital money lending applications again after the deadline of March 27, 2023.
In the meantime, there were 84 loan applications in October compared to 55 in September that were on the consumer protection watchdog’s monitor.
Applications on the Commission’s watchlist are those allegedly involved in unethical behaviours.
Some of the apps include Cashlawn App, Easynaira App, Crediting App, Yoyi App, Nut Loan App, Cashpal App, Nairaeasy Gist Loan App, Camelloan App, Nairaloan App, Moneytreefinance Made Easy App, Cashme App, Secucash App, Creditbox App, and Cashmama App. Others Are Crimson Credit App, Galaxy Credit App, Ease Cash App, Xcredit, Imoney, Naira Naija, Imoneyplus-Instant, Nairanaija-Instant, Nownowmoney, Naija Cash, and Getloan.
FCCPC announced that, in collaboration with Google, it had delisted a total of 45 lending apps from the Google Play Store in addition to those that were placed on watch. Apps that are discovered to be functioning unlawfully within the country are delisted.
The FCCPC launched a registration campaign last year, and this year’s list of approved lending apps is the follow-up.
In order to encourage equitable, open, and advantageous alternative financing options for Nigerians, the Commission claims to have developed the Limited Interim Regulatory/Registration Framework and Guidelines for Digital Financing, 2022 in partnership with the Joint Task Force.
The troubling activities of loan applications in the country, particularly the illicit ones, due to claims of unfair practices and rights abuses, among other things, also made registration necessary.
The FCCPC’s chief executive officer, Mr. Babatunde Irukera, stated that Nigeria is currently facing a global problem with regard to the operation of digital lenders.
“Our worry about digital financing is comparable to issues faced by countries around the world. Technology is a fantastic tool and platform for growth and prosperity for all, but regrettably, it also has the potential to be a tool for the exploitation and impoverishment of people.
He stated, “We can now say with certainty that those who are willing to conduct business morally have entered the Framework, while those who are determined to engage in abusive and illegal behaviour find other ways to do so.”