Nigeria: Post Covid, loan sharks target most vulnerable Nigeians

By Pius Adeleye
Posted on Wednesday, 7 September 2022 14:33

A trader changes dollars with naira at a currency exchange store in Lagos, Nigeria, February 12, 2015. REUTERS/Joe Penney/File Photo

Yinka* woke in the early hours one morning to the sound of his phone ringing non-stop. Lethargically, he looked at the phone screen, but the multiple missed calls bolted him awake.

“Did you borrow from them?” a friend asked from the other end of the line. Alarmed and confused, Yinka checked his social media apps, which were also sending numerous notifications to his phone.

Cashbus, a loan app “had sent several defamatory messages to every (phone) contact on my mobile phone. They said I was a criminal and that the populace should avoid me,” Yinka tells The Africa Report.

Post-pandemic vulnerability

In 2020, following the outbreak of Covid-19, the Nigerian government declared a lockdown of major economic states worst hit by the virus, strangling a number of small business owners.