The plight of several Nigerians who are indebted to online loan sharks is not a new phenomenon.
Several persons have been lured either by friends and relatives or convinced by advertisements placed on the internet to borrow money from these loan sharks with the hope of repaying their debts within an agreed period of time.
Most loan Apps often present their money lending services as the best and most trusted amongst their contemporaries by offering internet users cum potential borrowers juicy services of low interest rates, no collateral for loan and instant loan offers just to attract patronage.
It would not be unsafe to say about fifty (50) percent of advertisements seen on the internet today, are placed by money lending Apps.
This has within the last few months, since online borrowing became rampant in Nigeria, caused a lot of chaos between friends and families thereby destroying relationships, discrediting reputations and subjecting borrowers to ridicule while putting so much pressure on them after they might have fallen prey to the tricks of existing loan sharks.
This is as most online lenders who still maintain high loan interest rates, would not hesitate to call the contacts of the borrower if they fail to pay back their loan on the specified date.
While the borrower’s contacts often get agitated by their calls, the borrower is not left out. They also receive persistent calls, text messages and are sometimes threatened by the agents of the lenders.
Inorder to prevent the loan sharks from reaching their relatives, some mischievous borrowers have allegedly resorted to leaving the Abuja Police Commands’ emergency contact, an act the force frowns at.
In a recent development, the Federal Capital Territory Commissioner of Police, Haruna Garba, warned that henceforth, the force would not hesitate to bring defaulters to book.
CP Garba in a statement issued by the command spokesperson, SP Josephine Adeh, on Friday, explained that some undisclosed persons, both in and out of the FCT drop the command’s emergency numbers with loan shark companies to obtain loans.
The statement read in part,
“In the same vein, the CP enjoins non-state actors who have been engaging the Police emergency lines in their mischievous posts, aimed at misleading members of the public and those submitting same to obtain loans to desist from such and only use the emergency lines for its intended purpose as deliberate steps will be taken to arrest and prosecute the purveyors of these illegal acts.”
Reacting to a viral report that kidnappers wore police uniforms to abduct 17 residents in the Apo area of Abuja, CP Haruna said the claims were all false, adding that residents should endeavour to cooperate with the police for improved service delivery.
“The Commissioner of Police FCT hereby wish to inform members of the public that contrary to the falsehood making the rounds on media platforms alleging that kidnappers who adorned the Police uniform to perpetrate their illicit acts have kidnapped 17 persons from the Apo area in Abuja is a figment of the author’s imagination as no incident of such happened within the FCT,” the statement added.
“He equally tasks FCT residents to take advantage of the Police Control Room numbers in reporting suspicious activities: 08032003913, 08061581938, 07057337653, and 08028940883,” she added.