I am highly delighted to welcome and address you all at this important occasion of the inauguration of the Board of Directors of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC). Today’s event is of great importance to the NDIC and its stakeholders considering the critical role of a Board in a strategic institution like the NDIC. Let me begin by congratulating the Chairperson and Members of the NDIC Board on your appointment by President Mohammed Buhari and to inform you that a lot is expected from you in terms of contributions to the stability of the Nigerian Financial System.

You are assuming duty at a time when the Nigerian Financial System is still facing some challenges and requires efforts aimed at addressing issues such as corporate governance, high level of non-performing loans etc. You are also coming at a time when the system is grappling with the issues related to meeting the target of reducing financial exclusion in Nigeria to about 20% by the year 2020. The potential benefits and risks associated with the Financial Technology (Fintech) and block chain technology are also on the front burner. These and other challenges can cause threats to the stability of our financial system and must be addressed promptly for the sector to play its role in facilitating the implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).

Chairman of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) Board of Directors, Mrs. Ronke Sokefun (4th left) poses for a group photograph with NDIC Board members shortly after the Board’s inauguration by the Honourable Minister of Finance, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed in Abuja. L-R: Hon. (Mrs) Omolola Abiola-Edewor (ED/Corporate Services, NDIC), Mr. Festus Keyamo SAN, Mr. Umaru Ibrahim (MD/CE NDIC), Mrs. Ronke Sokefun (Chairman NDIC Board), Prince Aghatise Erediauwa (ED/Operations,NDIC), Mrs. Olubunmi Siyanbola (Director, Home Finance Federal Ministry of Finance), Mr. Adewale Adeleke, Alhaji Garba Bello, Mr. Ahmad Abdullahi (Director, Banking Supervision Department CBN) and Mr. Mudashiru Mustapha.

However, I have no doubt in my mind that with the calibre of personalities appointed on the Board of NDIC, these challenges would be addressed head-on. I therefore charge you to design sound policies and programmes with the Management team to enable the Corporation discharge its mandate.

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, it would be recalled that the NDIC was established by the Federal Government of Nigeria through NDIC Decree 22 of 1988, which is no repealed and replaced by NDIC Act No. 16 of 2006, to insure the deposit liabilities of licensed banks operating in Nigeria. The mandate of the Corporation is to provide financial guarantee to depositors of insured banks in the event of failure, supervision of insured banks, distress resolution and liquidation of failed banks.

The Corporation is therefore the only Agency responsible for administering Deposit Insurance Scheme (DIS) in Nigeria. It provides financial guarantee to depositors of all deposit taking financial institutions operating in Nigeria thereby promoting public confidence in the banking system. The scheme is designed to provide a further layer of protection to depositors in-partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria in order to ensure safe and sound banking practices in Nigeria. In a nut shell, NDIC is a key player and safety-net participant in ensuring financial system stability in Nigeria.

The Corporation in conjunction with the Central Bank of Nigeria carries our Routine and Special Examination of banks to reduce incidence of failure as well as to ensure the banks comply with extant banking laws and prudential regulations.

Distinguished Guests, permit me also to reiterate that the NDIC had since its establishment over three decades ago, remained committed to ensuring its aforementioned mandate. The Corporation over the years has performed credibly well. Its performance in this regard has been well captured in its Annaul Reports which provide details of bank resolutions undertaken, including bridge banks, Mergers and Acquisitions and reimbursement to depositors, among other.

It is pertinent to mention that the NDIC does not only undertake the above, but also collaborates with law enforcement agencies in the investigation and prosecution of erring bank directors, management and staff of banks whose conduct may have contributed to the failure of their banks. On this note, it is on record that between 1995 to 2015, the Corporation in collaboration with other agencies prosecuted 132 [one hundred and thirty-two] criminal cases, out of which 104 [one hundred and four] convictions were secured.

Recently, 52 [Fifty-two] criminal complaints of infractions by directors of closed Deposit Money Banks and Microfinance Banks under liquidation were reported to both the Special Fraud Unit and the Financial Malpractices Investigation Unit of the Nigerian Police Force and prosecution of the charges are being pursued by the Corporation. Amongst these cases, of public interest is the prosecution of the former Chairman and Managing Director of the defunct Gulf Bank who are facing charges involving 15.1 Billion Naira and that of the former Managing Director and top management of the defunct Integrated Microfinance Bank who are facing charges involving 327 Million Naira.

It should also be mentioned that the former Chairman and some directors of the defunct Skye Bank Plc are facing prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC] following investigations conducted by Central Bank of Nigeria [CBN] and NDIC. The Corporation is currently reviewing the records of 140 [one hundred and forty] Micro Finance Banks and 6 [six] Primary Mortgage Banks whose licenses were recently revoked by the CBN and are under liquidation by the Corporation, with a view to identifying directors and other persons who may have caused the failure of those institutions. The above measures are undoubtable necessary in order to protect the depositors and sanitize the banking system.

The contribution of the NDIC to the activities of International Association of Deposit Insurance (IADI), in particular the African Region, is also commendable. I am aware that some African countries with existing Deposit Insurance Scheme (DIS) or in the process of establishing DIS have benefitted from experience and knowledge sharing with the Corporation, through its Academy and attachment to the Corporation.

Madam Chairperson and Members of the Board, the responsibilities and roles of the Board of Directors in an organization are very clear. But for the avoidance of doubt, some of these responsibilities include giving direction, policy formulation, strategic planning as well as oversight, to ensure that the organization delivers on its mandate, in line with the policies and aspirations of this government, in the area of anti-corruption and revamping the economy, amongst others.

On our part, I want to assure you of our continuous support to the Board and Management of the Corporation in the discharge of your responsibilities. I want to once more congratulate you on your well-deserved appointment and to wish you a successful tenure.

On this note, ladies and gentlemen, it is my singular honour and privilege to inaugurate the Board of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation.

Thank you all for your attention.