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House of Rep Goes After Loan Apps Threatening Debtors

The proliferation of online loan apps across Nigeria by some fraudulent and unscrupulous profiteers is affecting many low-income Nigerians

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Amid the abuse by some online loan applications, the House of Representatives has resolved to investigate the activities of illegal financial technology companies and mobile application lenders who threaten debtors for failing to repay loans.

The house on Thursday during its plenary mandated its Committee on Banking and Currency, Financial Crimes and Telecommunications to investigate the alleged sharp practices and abuses. 

Investors King gathered that the resolution was a result of a public urgent motion moved at the plenary by Hon. Ahmed Satomi from Borno State.

While presenting the motion titled “Need to Investigate Sharp Practices By Unregulated Online Fintech Lending Companies and Abuse of Mobile Digital Loan Apps in Nigeria”,  Hon. Satomi noted the proliferation of online loan apps across Nigeria by “some fraudulent and unscrupulous profiteers is affecting many low-income Nigerians, who are coerced to borrow and get trapped in the web of sham loan apps hosted on Google Play Store by individuals and companies”.

The lawmaker further revealed that the adverse effects of Covid 19 has affected jobs and several households. He noted that many of the online loan apps are taking advantage of such an economic situation to drive borrowers with statements like “no collateral except the provision of a Bank Verification Number” while charging exorbitant interest on short-term loans. 

He said, “The House is also disturbed that such victims are expected to repay loans at astronomical interest rates within three to seven days, as against the 91 to 365 days claim on the Google Play store”.

Satomi also claimed that a search shows that “Most of these loan apps or companies and individuals operate with no regulation by government, expired licence and in some cases, no licensing.”

Some of the loan apps to be investigated include Henloan, Get Loan, Plenty Cash, Fundy, iMoneyPlus, CashCredit, LifeLine, Lumos Loan, NairaPlus among others. 

While Adopting the motion, the House gave the committee 4 weeks within which to conclude the assignment and report back to the House for further legislative action. 

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FG Releases List of 94 Approved Online Loan Applications

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Loan - Investors King

Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, FCCPC under the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment has assented to 94 online loan applications for operation in Nigeria.

Investors King reports that out of the 94 approved digital money lender companies in Nigeria, 49 companies were fully approved while the other 45 firms were issued conditional approval.

Google, in November 2022 threatened in its new policy to delete all unlicensed Nigerian loan apps from the Google play store by January 31, 2023, Investors King recalls.

Every loan app is required to tender their documents from the FCCPC which is saddled with the responsibility of safeguarding the interest and ensuring the well-being of consumers.

According to the FCCPC update on the registration of online loan applications which is still ongoing, the licensing is necessary to curb the menace of extortion by loan sharks. 

The Commission explained that the regulatory framework and guidelines for the digital lenders companies were earmarked in partnership with the Joint Task Force (JTF) aimed at ensuring fairness and advantageous alternative lending opportunities for the citizens. 

In the Commission’s laid down guidelines, the lending company will register with the FCCPC and fill two forms– Form DLG 001 and Form DLG 002.

“Form DLG OO1 is the registration form that requires the applicant company to provide identification and operational information to the FCCPC.

“The Form DLG 002 contains declarations relating to: Legitimacy; Compliance with applicable regulatory requirements; Lawful source of funds and conformity with anti-money laundering; and Data protection laws,” it stated.

As outlined by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), the listed companies below have gotten the full approval of the commission—

  1. TRADE DEPOT  
  2. TAJOW INVESTMENT 
  3. BLUE RIDGE MICROFINANCE BANK LIMITED 
  4. GROLATECH CREDIT LIMITED 
  5. BRANCH INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES LIMITED 
  6. P2VEST TECHNOLOGY LIMITED 
  7. CREDITWAVE FINANCE LIMITED 
  8. KEENEST TECH SERVICE LIMITED 
  9. FAIRMONEY MICRO FINANCE BANK 
  10. ALTRACRED FINANCE INVESTIMENT LIMITED 
  11. CREVANCE CREDIT LIMITED 
  12. MENACRED COMPANY LIMITED 
  13. AFROWIDE DEVELOPMENT LTD 
  14. RED PLANET NIGERIA LIMITED 
  15. AFROFIRST MOBILE AND TECHNOLOGY COMPANY LIMITED 
  16. RANKCAPITALS LIMITED 
  17. IBS GOLDEN INVESTMENT COMPANY LIMITED 
  18. LENDVISERY SERVICES LIMITED 
  19. CREDITWAVE FINANCE LIMITED 
  20. RENMONEY MICROFINANCE BANK LIMITED 
  21. SWIPEBILL TECHNOLOGIES NIGERIA LIMITED. 
  22. HOMETOWN FINTECH LIMITED 
  23. GIASUN TECHNOLOGY NIGERIA LIMITED 
  24. BE RESOURCES LIMITED 
  25. ROCKIT LENDERS NIGERIA LIMITED 
  26. PIVO TECHNOLOGY LIMIED 
  27. YES CREDIT COMPANY LIMITED 
  28. FUBRIL CENTURY LIMITED 
  29. IRORUN TECHNOLOGIES LIMITED 
  30. CSENSE LIMITED 
  31. SUPREME HELP COOPERATIVE SOCIETY LIMITED 
  32. ORCOM AND ORCOM BUSSINESS SUPORT LIMITED 
  33. PAYHIPPO LIMITED. 
  34. EASYCHECK FINANCE INVESTMENT LIMITED 
  35. QUARK FINANCIAL NIGERIA LIMITED 
  36. EDMOND SOLUTIONS COMPANY LIMITED 
  37. TED ROCKET LIMITED 
  38. PENAID LIMITED 
  39. ARVE LIMITED 
  40. DOVER CREDIT LIMITED 
  41. RAGEKAY GLOBAL INVESTMENT LIMITED 
  42. MAYWOOD LENDING LIMITED 
  43. LINKPARK TECHNOLOGY NIGERIA LIMITED 
  44. MANGNET LENDING LIMITED 
  45. RUBYSTAR GLOBAL LIMITED 
  46. BESTFIN NIGERIA LIMITED 
  47. FUBRI CENTURY COMPANY LIMITED 
  48. BERLY SPRING GLOBAL LIMITED 
  49. SYCAMORE INTEGRATED SOLUTIONS LIMITED 

While those companies on conditional approval since they are yet to fulfil some requirements are:

  1. TRIPPDBASE LIMITED 
  2. BLACKCOPPER SERVICE  
  3. OWOAFAR FINTECH SERVICE 
  4. PAYLATER HUB 
  5. WINDVILLE FINANCIAL NIGERIA LIMITED 
  6. AFROFIRST MOBILE AND TECHNOLOGY COMPANY LIMITED 
  7. ORCOM AND ORCOM BUSINESS SUPPORT LIMITED 
  8. OTP INTERNET TECHNOLOGY LTD 
  9. RED HARBOR FINTECH LIMITED 
  10. BERYL SPRING GLOBAL LIMITED 
  11. HOMETOWN FINTECH LIMITED 
  12. AJAX LENDING LIMITED 
  13. RACEOVA NIG. LIMITED 
  14. LANTANA TECHNOLOGY LIMITED 
  15. THE PLATFORM DIGITAL NETWORK LIMITED 
  16. ZIPPY CAPITAL LIMITED 
  17. NEO-LINK TECHNOLOGY LIMITED 
  18. TRIPOBASE LIMITED 
  19. BESTFIN NIGERIA LIMITED 
  20. POCKETFUEL FINANCE LIMITED 
  21. LENDING EDGE LIMITED 
  22. TED ROCKET LIMITED 
  23. PENAID LIMITED 
  24. ALTARA CREDIT LIMITED 
  25. NEW CREDAGE NIGERIA LIMITED 
  26. LENDHA TECHNOLOGIES LIMITED 
  27. DOJA LEMAIRE GLOBAL LIMITED 
  28. PAYDAYHUB ONLINE NIGERIA LIMITED 
  29. RETAIL BOOSTER LIMITED 
  30. FINNEW FINTECH LIMITED 
  31. FEZOTECH NIGERIA LIMITED 
  32. ORANGE LOAN & PURPLE CREDIT LIMITED 
  33. CITADELE CAPITALS LIMITED 
  34. FEWCHORE FINANCE COMPANY LIMITED 
  35. A1 CAPITAL SOLUTION LIMITED 
  36. ONE PAYOUT LIMITED 
  37. LINKPARK TECHNOLOGY NIGERIA LIMITED 
  38. LIDYA GLOBAL LIMITED 
  39. PHOENIX PAYMENT SOLUTIONS LIMITED 
  40. RED PLANET NIGERIA LIMITED 
  41. KWABA INTERNATIONAL LIMITED. 
  42. MAYWOOD LENDING LIMITED. 
  43. PRINCEPS CREDIT SYSTEM LIMITED 
  44. LINKPARK TECHNOLOGY NIGERIA LIMITED 
  45. FINPADI TECHNOLOGIES LIMITED 

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Senate Demands Details of Buhari’s N22.7tn Debt Restructuring Request Before Approval

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President Muhammadu Buhari - Investors King

The Senate of the National Assembly has given an ultimatum of three days for the provision of documents containing details of the N23.7 trillion debt restructuring request made by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Investors King recalls that President Buhari made the request in year 2022, seeking the approval of the legislative arm in order to avoid an additional payment of N1.8 trillion as interest in 2023.  

The legislative house expressed readiness to approve the President’s request but not without the necessary documents to be submitted by the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN Godwin Emefiele.

At the plenary session on Tuesday, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan ordered Ahmed and Emefiele to provide the needed details of the Ways and Means Advances within three days, blaming them for the delay in passage.

Lawan noted that proper scrutiny of the request must be carried out before approval, hence its order to the concerned officials of the executive arm of government.

He appealed to the Minister of Finance and CBN governor to make available the necessary documents of the Ways and Means Advances on time considering the proximity of the general elections.

His words, “We must have the necessary information for passage of the N22.7tn request and time is not on our side in the Senate now in view of the coming general elections.

“If there is a need for the Senate to sit up to Friday this week for thorough consideration and passage of the request, it will be done but the affected officials from the executive must also expedite action on the provision of the required information as regards documents authorising approval and disbursement of the monies totaling N22.7 trillion,” the Senate President said.

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NASS Resume Discussions on N23.7tn Loan Restructuring 

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Nigeria's National Assembly

Deliberations on the request by President Muhammadu Buhari to the National Assembly for restructuring of Ways and Means Advances (WMAS) from the Central Bank of Nigeria are expected to start today, Tuesday January 17, 2023.

The Federal Parliament had suspended discussions on the issue late last year and embarked on Christmas and New Year break after passing three separate bills including 2023 Appropriation Bill, the 2022 Supplementary Appropriation Bill and the Finance Bill 2022 on December 28, 2022.

The request made by President Buhari is that the Senate and the House of Representatives should approve the modification of the WMAs given to the Federal Government by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Buhari had informed the lawmakers that the balance of the WMAs as of December 19, 2022, was N23,719,703,774,306.90.

Even though the National Assembly had indicated interest to engage the presidential request, nothing concrete is yet to be done.

In the midst of this delay in restructuring the loan-to-bond band demand, the President had alerted that Nigeria might be paying an additional sum of N1.8tn as interest in 2023 if the National Assembly eventually rejected his request.

Reports revealed that the Nigerian Government paid interests of N4.12tn between 2019 and 2022 on the loans it got from the apex bank through WMAs.

This disclosure was contained in the data obtained from the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Papers and the public presentation documents of the approved budgets by the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.

Recall that the Senate had rejected the domestic borrowing and had passed it into the second chamber of the parliament to deliberate and give their decision.

Meanwhile, insiders in the House of Representatives are saying the tendency of the House toiling the same line as its counterpart in the Senate is high.

While some members of the House were of the view that the domestic borrowing not only contravened the CBN Act but also the Fiscal Responsibility Act, others lawmakers noted that the government must borrow to confront the hardship being faced by Nigerians.

Some lawmakers lamented that the nation’s debt profile has continued to grow, especially under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

They also reiterated the importance of loans to the government but stated that the loans should be channeled toward addressing the needs of the masses.

However, Ahmed Lawn, the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, had said the chamber would revisit the WMAs loan.

Many Nigerians have bemoaned the rise in the debt profile of the country and have attributed the huge debt to the challenges confronting the nation.

A release by the Debt Management Office (DMO) in December last year had revealed that Nigeria’s debt profile rose by over N1 trillion in just three months which is between June and September 2022.

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