The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has again shifted the deadline for the registration of Digital Money Lenders, otherwise known as loan apps in Nigeria, to March 27, 2023.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Commission, Babatunde Irukera announced the extension in a statement released on Friday.
This means that many of the unregistered loan apps in the country will continue to operate unfettered until the new deadline date.
The extension came a few days before the January 31st deadline, which is also an extension from the first deadline of November 14, 2022.
OBSERVERSTIMES recall that,On December 6, 2022, in furtherance of the collaboration of the Inter-Agency Joint Task Force, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (Commission) extended the deadline for the registration of Digital Money Lenders (DMLs) to January 31, 2023. This was to ensure the registration of DMLs whose registration was still in process and to prevent significant market disruptions.
Part of the FCCPC statement signed by Executive Chairman Babatunde Irukera read :
The Commission noted, however, that several DMLs have not yet provided all relevant documentation to complete their registration process. To this end, the Commission is further extending the registration deadline to Monday, March 27, 2023.”
For the records: Since last year, the FCCPC has been focusing on the activities of loan apps in the country, especially the illegal ones, over allegations of rights violations, and unfair practices, among others.
Some of the loan apps charge interest rates that violate the ethics of how lending is done and are involved in naming and shaming which is a violation of people’s privacy with respect to how these lenders recover loans, among other violations.
This led to the establishment of a Limited Interim Regulatory/Registration Framework and Guidelines for Digital Lending, 2022, which makes it mandatory for all digital money lenders in the country to be registered.
According to the FCCPC database, a total of 94 companies have been registered as of this week, the list shows that 49 out of the 94 companies have given full approval to operate, while 45 got conditional approval.