Christian Leaders in Nigeria Urge Central Bank Leadership to Investigate Loan Sharks

Headquarters of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Kaduna State. Credit: CAN Kaduna State/Facebook

Representatives of Christian leaders in Nigeria are calling on the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to look into loan sharks who are taking advantage of the economic challenges in the West African nation to extort money from innocent Nigerians.

In a Thursday, March 24 statement, officials of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) who include representatives of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) say some “faceless people” are giving out loans to vulnerable Nigerians. 

“Some unscrupulous people developed their apps to extort money from innocent people on the pretext of giving them short loan facilities,” they say in a statement signed by CAN Secretary General, Joseph Daramola.

CAN officials say the interest rates offered by the loan sharks “are not only higher than the banks but they use blackmail and other antics to get their money back in case of default.”

The representatives of Christian leaders in Nigeria further say that borrowers not only over pay the loan, but also “run into trouble as a result of the ungodly interests.”


“They (loan sharks) will be harassing and embarrassing the contacts of their victims asking them for their intervention to recover their money,” CAN officials say, adding that the unscrupulous lenders "are not only against the financial regulation but totally unacceptable, irresponsible, suicidal and unfair." 

In the March 24 statement, CAN officials say it takes God-fearing people to stop the operations of the loan sharks

"It is easier to condemn those who take such loans because they were not forced to do so but when we critically examined the economic conditions of the country and the attendant consequences, we have realized that it would take only the disciplined and the godly people to say No to the trap," the Christian leaders say. 

They call on the CBN Governor, the Ministry of Finance and other related agencies to “as a matter of urgency, intervene before their victims begin to use self-help to free themselves from the public ridicule and embarrassment.”

The representatives of Christian leaders in Africa’s most populous nation further say the Federal Government of Nigeria needs "to  bring the economy out of the woods as a way of restoring sanity back to the polity.” 

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“We don’t need the quarterly report of the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics to know that life is becoming unbearable and tough for the citizens, irrespective of their economic status,” they say. 

Earlier this month, an official of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) said  online money lenders came into existence during the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown.

FCCPC Vice Chairman, Babatunde Irukera, said Nigerians started complaining about the lenders' malpractice after a while. 

"The key two things that were subjects of concern were what seems to be naming and shaming, violation of people’s privacy with respect to how these lenders recover the loans," Mr. Irukera said. 

He added that the interest rates offered by the lenders seem "to be a violation of the ethics on how lending is done." 


The FCCPC official who was speaking after the commission raided an online lending company in conjunction with the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and other federal agencies, said action against scrupulous lenders will continue to be taken.

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.