The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has acknowledged that calls from some Nigerians for a complete ban on loan apps are practically unfeasible due to their operational nature.
In an interview, Babatunde Irukera, the CEO of the Commission, stated that a complete ban on loan apps would not effectively address the existing challenges associated with them. He pointed out that these apps can operate from anywhere in the world, thanks to the internet.
Irukera emphasized that the key focus should be on regulating and managing the activities of loan apps to ensure they adhere to consumer protection standards. This approach would involve implementing stricter regulations, enhancing consumer education, and enforcing penalties for non-compliance.
The FCCPC recognizes the importance of addressing the issues surrounding loan apps but acknowledges that an outright ban is not a practical solution due to their operational dynamics and global reach.
“The advocacy and campaign for an outright ban while understandable is simplistic and presents no solution. For a business that can evade regulatory interfaces including operating entirely offshore, and possessing the versatility to evolve, rebrand, relaunch, rebirth, or relocate on the internet and needing no physical location, a ban is at best only a pronouncement, and may very well amount to nothing much more than that.
“The very hard and continuous work of tracking and reigning illegality in concerning this industry is the task we must all commit to, and it requires a lasting collaborative effort and vigilance by both consumers and regulators because it is impossible for regulators to have all the information to successfully track these businesses.
“The call for outright banning is ill-advised, and in most cases supported by former victims which is understandable, but insufficient for policymaking.
“Under an administration whose desire and focus is to expand prosperity and reach the least in society, reduce poverty, and empower the vulnerable, the mandate we as regulators must embrace is the hard work and road to accomplish that, not the supposedly easy approach of blanket bans and grandstanding,” he said.