FG Plans Fresh Regulations For O-pay, Moniepoint, Others

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The Federal Government through the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission is set to release more regulation for the digital lending space in 2024.

These regulations are meant to improve loan recovery methods in the country in the face of rising default rates.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Commission, Mr Babatunde Irukera, disclosed this on a TVC live programme recently.

According to him, while the FCCPC has significantly reduced the rate of harassment in the sector, there is still a high level of default from Nigerians.

He said, “One of the big issues that we are seeing is that there is now a significant level of loan default because people are not able to use these unethical and inappropriate loan recovery mechanisms and I am insistent that you cannot say to me that the only language Nigerians understand is to abuse them. No, I disagree.

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“We must necessarily do the work no matter how hard it is to find a more sensible way to recover loans because I also agree that if these digital money lenders are unable to recover their loans and drop out of the market, it is a consumer protection problem because of those who need those types of short-term unsecured lending.

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“So, we have to find the balance and so some of the regulations that will come out in 2024 will be a broader approach to responsible borrowing and responsible lending by individuals and corporates. I am hopeful that the future of what we’re building is that even school landlords would be able to report to a centralized credit system about the conduct of tenants, students, and parents so that we can know each person’s level of fiscal responsibility or credit wordiness.”

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Recently, the FCCPC revealed that it had reduced harassment and defamatory messages in the sector by about 80 per cent. In a media chat at the time, Irukera noted that the country was struggling with digital lending but was not alone.

He said, “India, Kenya, Brazil, Ghana, and Uganda are still struggling in digital lending. Some of these countries are taking lessons from what we have done.” (Punch)

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