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Unregistered Loan Apps In Nigeria Shift To APK As FCCPC Delists 47 From Play Store

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Unregistered Loan Apps In Nigeria Shift To APK As FCCPC Delists 47 From Play Store

Several unregistered loan apps have continued operating in the country through Android Package Kit (APK) amid the ongoing clampdown by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC).

As of May 2024, a total of 47 unregistered loan apps operating in the country have been delisted from the Google Play Store according to data from the FCCPC.

However, checks by Nairametrics show that many of the apps continue to operate in the country using APK to reach their target customers.

The APKs are shared in the form of a link which once clicked takes the user to a file to download an app not listed on any app store.

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Harassment and defamation continue
Despite the FCCPC’s moves to sanitize the digital lending space through registration and identification of players, the practice of harassing and threatening borrowers remains unabated in the market.

However, the Chairman of the Money Lenders Association, the umbrella body of the registered loan app companies in Nigeria, Mr. Gbemi Adelekan, blames it on the unregistered apps.

According to him, many unregistered loan apps delisted from the app store are using APK to avoid regulatory compliance.

He said people taking loans from them are exposed to harassment and defamation as they are not under any control.

He added that the unregistered apps push loans to people without applying and then resort to unethical means to recover the debt.

“While most licensed Digital Money Lenders (DML) are operating their loan app business ethically, in compliance with the prevailing laws of the land and lending principles, we also have a few bad eggs in the industry with illegal lending practices and unethical recovery processes.

“Most of these unscrupulous lenders are unregistered and without the required licenses, thereby contravening various regulations and guidelines introduced by FCCPC and the various regulatory bodies of the Government. These illegal operators use threatening and arm-twisting tactics as part of their collection strategy,” he said.

The consumer protection agency recently expressed worry over the increase in unethical practices by lending apps in the country.

In response to that, the Commission said it has placed 88 apps on its watchlist in addition to the 47 that have been delisted in collaboration with Google.

Acting Executive Vice Chairman/ Chief Executive Officer, of the FCCPC, Dr. Adamu Abdullahi, said infractions have been on the rise as more Nigerians are now taking loans from the various loan apps.

He said the Commission would now involve law enforcement agents in tackling the menace in addition to regulatory prohibition and consequences.

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