Home NEWS Unlicensed Digital Money Lenders: NGO Petitions Federal Ministry Over Violating Consumers’ Rights

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

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Citizens’ Gavel, a non-governmental organization committed to justice, has submitted a petition to the Minister of the Federal Ministry of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, calling for immediate sanctions against 30 unlicensed digital money lenders operating in Nigeria.

Rachael Adio Communications Associate, Citizens’ Gavel in a sent to Justice Watch News.

He said, these entities were accused of egregious violations of consumers’ rights, including criminal defamation, character assassination, harassment, and breaches of data privacy rights.

“The petition, backed by over 600 complaints and a comprehensive report detailing the experiences of 50 victims, outlines the illicit practices of these digital money lenders.

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“The unethical conduct includes unauthorized data disclosures, failure to safeguard personal data, and the use of exploitative interest rates, causing financial strain and mental distress to borrowers”, Funmi Oderinde, Citizens’ Gavel’s legal associate, explained.

Citizens’ Gavel, in the petition, also identified specific instances where victims have faced severe defamation, character assassination, and privacy breaches orchestrated by these loan apps.

The organization urged the Federal Ministry to conduct thorough investigations and impose stringent sanctions against the culpable companies.

In the petition, Citizens’ Gavel proposed a multi-faceted approach to address the following issue:

• Comprehensive and thorough investigations into the identified digital money lenders.
Strong sanctions and penalties against companies found guilty of serious infractions and violations.
• Adequate compensation and public apologies to victims, acknowledging and taking accountability for wrongful actions.
• Development of regulations specifically addressing exploitative practices by digital money lenders to ensure consumer protection.
• Enforcement and strengthening of existing regulations governing digital money lenders’ operations.
• Collaboration with relevant stakeholders and law enforcement agencies to effectively address concerns.
• Engagement with social media and ads platforms to restrict indicted loan apps from running ads until compliance with regulations.

“The urgency of the Ministry’s intervention to safeguard the rights and well-being of Nigerian citizens in the digital and technology space cannot be overemphasized”, said Oluwafemi Ajibade, Citizens’ Gavel’s Operations Lead.

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In the Petion, the Citizens’ Gavel expected prompt attention and decisive action to address this critical matter affecting citizens’ rights and well-being.

Adio explained 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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