President Bola Tinubu of Nigeria has dismissed Babatunde Irukera from his role as the executive vice chairman and CEO of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC).
Ajuri Ngelale, the presidential spokesperson, stated that the removal of Irukera is part of Tinubu's plans to overhaul and realign key agencies of the federal government to safeguard the rights of consumers in Nigeria. Alexander Okoh, director-general and CEO of the Bureau of Public Enterprises was also dismissed.
"The two dismissed Chief Executives are directed to hand over to the next most senior officer in their respective agencies, pending the appointment of new Chief Executive Officers," according to Ngelale. "By this directive of the President, their removal from office takes immediate effect."
In response to his dismissal, Irukera mentioned that he leaves behind "a strong Institutional advocate in the FCCPC, [and] an outstanding team of soldiers who work there daily for the cause of fair markets".
In April 2017, Irukera joined the Consumer Protection Council as director general, he later transitioned to FCCPC as CEO in December 2017.
In recent times, the CEO of FCCPC has been actively involved in regulating digital lenders in Nigeria, especially those engaging in predatory practices. The FCCPC initiated the Inter-Agency Joint Task Force on Digital Lending Apps, leading to the licensing of over 300 digital lenders, including notable Nigerian fintech companies like Sycamore, Trade Depot, Fairmoney, Pivo Africa, Payhippo, and Carbon. About 44 have been delisted.
Irukera led an FCCPC task force in 2022 to clamp down on six predatory digital loan providers such as GoCash, Okash, EasyCredit, Kashkash, Speedy Choice and Easy Moni.
In addition to consumer protection measures with a direct impact on the Nigerian tech ecosystem, the FCCPC reached an agreement in December with British American Tobacco. As part of the settlement, the company was obligated to pay a $110 million fine for violating the Consumer Protection Act.
This is a developing story