The Federal Competition and Consumers Protection Commission (FCCPC) has mandated payment gateway systems and mobile networks to block online loan companies.
In the directive, FCCPC called on payment system operatiors such as Flutterwave, Opay, Paystack and Monify, with telecommunication companies, including Mobile Network Operators, MNOs, in Nigeria to stop providing services support to promote the operations of illegal digital money lenders
FCCPC Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Babatunde Irukera, made the disclosure on Thursday, in Lagos, during an enforcement action against a loan shark commonly known as Soko Lending Limited.
According to Irukera, a Limited Interim Regulatory/Registration Framework and Guidelines for Digital Lending has been developed and adopted by the inter-agency Joint Regulatory and Enforcement Task Force as interim step to establishing a clear regulatory framework for the sector.
“Soko Lending appears to be the most consequential digital money lender with multiple apps and brand names covering a significant share of the digital/online lending market, and one of the most prolific actors in violating consumer privacy, fair lending terms and ethical loan repayment/recovery practices.
“FCCPC has also ordered telecommunication/ technology companies (including Mobile Network Operators (MNOs)) to cease and desist providing server/hosting, or other key services such as connectivity to disclosed or known lenders who are targets/subjects of investigation or otherwise operating without regulatory approval.
“The Commission has also entered further orders that will disable or diminish violators’ ability to devise circumvention efforts or alternative mechanisms to circumvent the objective of the investigation,” he said.