Nigeria Bar Loan Apps from Accessing Customers’ Contacts and Photos

The Nigerian government has recently announced its decision to bar online banks and loan applications from accessing their customers’ contacts or photos starting from May 31, 2023.

The announcement was made by the Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), Babatunde Irukera, following Google’s latest policy.


In April 2023, Google updated its policy, stating that digital money lenders in Nigeria, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Kenya must comply with regulatory rules, or they will be taken down from Play Store.

According to Google, only digital money lenders that have completed the Limited Interim Regulatory/Registration Framework and Guidelines for Digital Lending, 2022, and obtained a verifiable approval letter from the Commission will be allowed on its platform in Nigeria.


As part of the policy update, Google stated that personal loan apps may not access user contacts or photos. In a chat with The Punch, Irukera commended Google for institutionalizing its regulatory policy and stated that the FCCPC would enforce the latest policy by Google.

He disclosed that the Commission had approved 173 digital lending applications to operate in the country, with 119 of these receiving full approvals and 54 getting conditional approvals.


The move by the Nigerian government is aimed at curbing the invasion of customers’ privacy by loan app firms. It is a welcome development that shows Google’s commitment to proper regulatory oversight of the industry, and the FCCPC commends the technology firm for taking a position that is consistent with their position as regulators.