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13.11.2021 news NITDA: Money Lenders Violating Privacy of Nigerians, Driving Them to Suicide

Published 13th Nov, 2021

By Tola Owoyele

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has entered into a strategic partnership with the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) to address the alarming rate of data privacy abuse by money lending operators.

This was made known in a statement signed by Hadiza Umar, head of the corporate affairs and external relations unit of NITDA and posted on the agency’s official Facebook page on Friday.

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“Section 17(a) of the FCCPA 2019 empowers the commission to administer and enforce provisions of every Nigerian law with respect to competition and protection of consumers,” the statement reads in part.

“NITDA has therefore found the FCCPC as a key stakeholder in its efforts to rein in the activities of some micro-money lenders who have formed a penchant for abuse of personal data of Nigerians.

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“These operators execute this by abusing their personal data, breaching their privacy and sharing it with others who are not part of the initial contract.”

NITDA said it has received over 40 petitions from the public on personal data abuse by most of the lenders.

The agency said it is very concerned about the worrisome effect the nefarious activities of the money lending outfits is having on families, friends and society at large.

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“Some of the complainants had contemplated suicide, indicating that government needed to do more to protect vulnerable Nigerians,” the agency said.

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According to the agency, the partnership would lead to a better regulatory approach that would not only protect Nigerians from the illegal use of their personal data by the lenders, but also entail joint investigations, enforcement and possible prosecution of errant lenders.

Published 13th Nov, 2021

By Tola Owoyele

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