The Federal Government says the days of people starting a business especially in the Financial Services Sector without due diligence or knowledge of who they are and what they are offering is gone.
Executive Vice Chairman of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, Babatunde Irukera, disclosed this while speaking to Tolulope Ogunjobi on TVC News Business Nigeria programme on Good Friday.
Mr Irukera who was speaking on the recent approval granted to the 173 Loan Apps with a mix of Conditional and full approval said the processes they have to go through now is rigorous unlike before when they were springing up left, right and Center.
He said the Federal Government has done a very thorough due diligence before putting in place guidelines in the registration process for Digital Lenders in the Country.
He said it essentially means that the Directors, lending policy and every other thing about the online lenders will be known in the country helping to remove the veil of anonymity they have used to intrude on peoples privacy before now.
He said the ones approved have gone through the process of approval having demonstrated full compliance with the measures put in place for the online lenders while those who have been granted conditional approval have shown substantial compliance with the measures and is still in progress.
On how the FCCPC was able to put in place the necessary legal framework to ensure the sanitisation of the Loan and Online Lenders business in the Country, Mr Irukera, said the few who are credible have been cooperating with the Federal Government in conjunction with those who are outside but want to come in to the industry to help clean it up.
He however added that the practitioners who have been cited as being involved in bad practices like threatening, insulting, intruding into peoples privacy and exploit Nigerians put up resistance but was overcome eventually.
According to him, the industry needs to be regulated but it has to be put side by side with the fact they provide unsecured loans which is different from the traditional Financial Services institution.
He added that no trade off was necessary in the protection of the interest of both the lenders and users of their service.
Mr Irukera said the lenders who have been excluded are those who have shown they are unable to operate in a properly regulated environment while those registered have shown sufficient course that they will be able to get going properly in a regulated environment.
He also disclosed that the agency’s work has been gong well due to the support and collaboration it has been getting from law enforcement agencies and Other regulatory agencies in the country.
Going further, he said he expects that a broader regulatory environment will eventually come into practice in Nigeria describing online lenders as disruptors of the current financial services and lending system.
He however expressed the hope that the Financial Services Sector especially the Loan lending practices will be reformed to create a more robust system that will respond to the needs of the users.