Home NEWS Fraud: Citizens’ Gavel Urges CBN to Sanction Unlicensed Digital Money Lenders

Fraud: Citizens’ Gavel Urges CBN to Sanction Unlicensed Digital Money Lenders

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By Abubakar Abdullahi

Citizens’ Gavel, a non-profit organization dedicated to justice, transparency, and accountability, has submitted a petition to the Special Investigator at the Central Bank of Nigeria, calling for immediate action against thirty unlicensed digital money lenders.

Rachael Adio Communications Associate, Citizens’ Gavel in a statement sent to Justice Watch News said these entities are accused of violating the rights of Nigerian consumers through unethical practices such as defamation, character assassination, cyber harassment, and data privacy breaches.

The statement further said concerns raised by Citizens’ Gavel include:  the alarming trend of unlicensed digital money lenders resorting to illegal means, including criminal defamation, to coerce customers into settling outstanding debts.

Read Also: Unlicensed Digital Money Lenders: NGO Petitions Federal Ministry Over Violating Consumers’ Rights

Proliferation of Complaints: The organization received over 600 complaints against these entities, leading to a meticulous investigation that identified thirty companies persistently engaged in unethical practices.

Exploitative Interest Rates: The identified loan apps impose exploitative interest rates significantly higher than traditional lending institutions, causing financial strain and challenges in repayment for many borrowers.

Privacy Violations: Some loan apps, even those registered by the Corporate Affairs Commission, engage in defamation by contacting debtors’ contacts, violating privacy rights and contravening existing data protection laws.

Adio on behalf of Citizens’ Gavel urgently called upon the Central Bank of Nigeria to:

Conduct Comprehensive Investigations: Thoroughly investigate the activities of the identified digital money lenders and hold them accountable for violations of digital and consumer rights.

Enforce Strict Penalties: Impose strict penalties and sanctions against digital money lenders found guilty of exploiting borrowers and violating regulations.

Directive to Banks: Issue a directive to banks to withdraw services from identified accounts associated with unlicensed and unregulated loan companies engaged in exploitative practices.

Read Also: Jigawa CP Issues Stern Warning to Criminals, As 26 Phone Snatchers Others Arrested

Compensation and Apologies: Direct indicted lending companies to issue adequate compensation and public apologies to victims for the distress and harm caused.

Strengthen Regulations: Develop and implement comprehensive guidelines tailored to address the predatory nature of lending practices in the digital money lending sphere.

Consumer Protection: Strengthen regulations governing digital money lenders to protect consumers from the detrimental impact of unlicensed and exploitative practices.

“In view of the escalating harm faced by victims of these unlicensed digital money lenders, we urgently call upon the Special Investigator of the Central Bank of Nigeria to take decisive action.

Strengthening regulations, instituting clear guidelines, and implementing stringent penalties are crucial steps to safeguarding the financial well-being of Nigerian consumers.” Citizens’ Gavel’s Team Lead, Nelson Olanipekun, ESQ., stated.

Rachael Adio, Communications Associate noted that Citizens’ Gavel  is a civic tech NGO that aims to create a world where justice delivery is fast and efficient regardless of economic or political demographics.

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