Nigerians Asks FCCPC To Sanction 30 Loan Apps For Defamation, Harassment

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Citizens’ Gavel, a consumer rights organization, has lodged a formal complaint with the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), urging immediate action against 30 unlicensed digital money lenders operating in Nigeria.

The group’s investigation, sparked by over 600 consumer complaints, identified these lenders as employing “crude, unprofessional, and illegal means” to collect debts, including defamation, cyberbullying, and even death threats.

The group, on Monday, called on the FCCPC to do more to protect the rights of Nigerian consumers.

Citizens’ Gavel, in a statement signed by its Communications Associate, Ms Rachael Adio, accused the money lenders of violating the rights of consumers through defamation, character assassination and other unethical practices.

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It implored the FCCPC to collaborate with stakeholders such as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) to thoroughly address alleged abuse and unethical practices of unregistered and unlicensed digital money lenders in the country.

The statement read, “Citizens’ Gavel has identified a disturbing trend where unlicensed digital money lenders employ crude, unprofessional and illegal means to coerce customers into settling outstanding debts.

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“This coercion involves criminal defamation, harassment, cyber bullying, cursing, cyber stalking, issuing death threats, and breaching data privacy rights.

“With over 600 complaints received against these entities, our investigations have meticulously pinpointed 30 companies engaged in unethical practices.

“The petition emphasises the importance of the FCCPA 2018, the cornerstone legislation for regulating competition and safeguarding consumer rights in Nigeria.

“Despite these regulations, loan apps continue to engage in unethical conduct, including defamation and unfair business practices.

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“Citizens’ Gavel implores the FCCPC to collaborate with stakeholders such as NITDA, CBN, and NDPC to comprehensively address the abuse and unethical practices of unregistered and unlicensed digital money lenders.”

The organisation also said that it had compiled a comprehensive report, including evidence of defamation and Corporate Affairs Commission search reports, serving as annexures.

It called for specific and more stringent laws to safeguard consumers from misleading advertisements, false claims and deceptive practices. (NAN)

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