Buhari administration shut down Okash, GoCash, other online banks [Full List]
By Onome Naomi
The government of Muhammadu Buhari has shut down some illegal financial institutions operating in Lagos State.
Customers’ complaints of malpractices and invasions of privacy led to the closure of illegal financial institutions, according to reports.
Babatunde Irukera, the Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Competition Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), told reporters on Friday that the illegal online banks were located on Opebi Road in Lagos’ Ikeja neighborhood.
GoCash, Okash, EasyCredit, Kashkash, Speedy Choice, and Easy Moni were among the illegal quick loan companies raided, according to Irukera.
The FCCPC, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), and the Nigerian Police Force carried out the raid, according to him.
Irukera stated that the illegal institutions were accused of violating customers’ privacy in their debt collection efforts, and that the allegations had been investigated for two years.
The FCCPC chairman stated that the interest rates charged by online banks appear to be in violation of lending ethics.
He said, “This information started quite a while ago. Some time ago, when the country was on lockdown in 2020 due to the pandemic, we started seeing the rise in money lenders”
“Because there was lockdown due to the pandemic, people needed small easy loan which is understandable. But over a period of time, people started complaining about the malpractices of the lenders, so we started tracking it”
“Towards the end of last year, we gathered quite a lot of information. We started working with some other key agencies and the FCCPC led the meeting where we all agreed there would be a joint effort to look into these businesses.
“The key two things that were subject of concern were what seems to be the naming and shaming violation of people’s privacy with respect to how these lenders recover their loans.
“Secondly, the interest rate seems to be a violation of the ethics on how lending is done. So, those were the two things that we set out to look for.
“So, we started an investigation trying to determine the location of these firms. That has been a very difficult thing. We did that for several months and some of them have moved from one place to the another and we have been visiting these places for months”
Investigations revealed that the loan companies were neither Nigerian companies nor registered in the country, according to Irukera, who also claimed that many of the online banks are run by the same person.
He revealed that the commission had written to global app companies, requesting that the online banks’ operations be halted.
“We found out that most of these companies operate from the same place. We also found out that many of them are actually operated by the same person. They are not Nigerian companies, they don’t have an address in Nigeria and they are not registered in Nigeria with the Corporate Affairs Commission and they do not have any licence to do their business.
“Essentially, what they have is an app, and so we started gathering more information about them. We engaged the public and the people who had been their victims. They gave us more information,” he said.
Source: TV NIGERIA