Chief Executive Officer, Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, FCCPC, Babatunde Irukera has opened up on the reason 50 firms operating loan apps have their accounts frozen.
Irukera explained the reason for the frozen account during an interview with Punch.
The FCCPC chairman stated that they had decided to take such actions towards the companies due to the defamatory messages and mode of operation while dealing with their customers.
According to him: “We have so far frozen 50 accounts. We have taken over 12 applications off the Google Play Store and we are in discussions with more than 10 companies right now. The rate of defamatory messages has dropped by at least 60 per cent. I am not saying they have stopped but they have dropped by at least 60 per cent.
“More than half of the companies that are currently before us have agreed that they will have to modify their behaviour. Many of them have changed some of their systems, including sacking some employees who sent defamatory messages. We are developing a regulatory framework that will involve other regulators, and we are prosecuting at least one company right now.”
When asked how the commission was dealing with individual and companies trying to attain monopoly in the Nigerian economy, he revealed that investigations were ongoing.
His words: “We have at least three major investigations opened into companies which we think are abusing their market dominance in a manner that will frustrate smaller players. When we look at the market and consider it inefficient, whether it is a monopoly or market dominance, the first thing we do is to unlock the barriers for others to enter. It is when you do that that you see the market correct itself. It needs the regulator to address certain behaviour in the market. Don’t forget that the competition law was introduced in Nigeria only in 2019. We lost the whole of 2020 to COVID-19.
“So, the amount of market intervention that the FCCPC has succeeded in doing is actually commendable and commended widely. One of the ways that you may not know that we have addressed monopolies is in the area of mergers and acquisitions. We are refusing to approve mergers which we think will lead to dominance and possible monopolies and disruption to the market.”