I feel highly honored and delighted to be here today on the occasion of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) Special Day at the on-going 2017 Lagos International Trade Fair. I warmly welcome our distinguished quests particularly our esteemed royal fathers, government officials as well as captains of industry in the banking, commerce and other sectors of our economy. I would also like to welcome members of the academia, civil societies, gentlemen of the press and our other stakeholders who have found time to be part of the NDIC showcase at this trade fair.
I congratulate the President and the entire Council Members of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture on the success of this year’s fair. The theme of the fair “Promoting Industrialization for Economic Recovery and Sustainable Growth” cannot be more apt given the nation’s quest for rapid industrialization which is the only way, not only to steer the nation out of recession, but also to achieve the Vision 20:2020. It is upon this platform of securing a brighter future for Nigerians that the NDIC stands to showcase its contributions towards the stability of the Nation’s financial system. Nigerian depositors are our priority and our foundation is built on ensuring the safety of their deposits. This idea is encapsulated in our strap line: “Protecting your bank deposits!” The slogan shows that the NDIC is not like other conventional insurance companies.
The NDIC has continued to be at the forefront of driving the key objectives of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) to reduce the percentage of adult Nigerians that do not have access to financial services from 46.3% in 2010 to 20.0% by 2020. To this end, the Corporation has redoubled its efforts by providing an enabling regulatory and supervisory environment that ensures that the hard earned savings of small savers are protected. This is very vital to financial inclusion because the poor people need assurance that the licensed deposit taking institutions are safe and that they have access to their money whenever they need it. Furthermore, the Corporation’s activities through the continuous monitoring and oversight of banks, not only enhance depositors’ confidence in the financial system, but also serve as incentive to the unbanked to access financial services of licensed banks.
I would like to urge members of the public to take advantage of several incentives available for Nigerian to save and have access to financial services. The requirements to open a bank account are easy to meet. Banking enables a depositor to save and enjoy services such as ATM transactions, mobile banking and mobile money products. The depositor is also guaranteed of his/her savings in the event of bank failure up to the maximum account balance of N500,000 in a commercial/merchant/mortgage bank and N200,000 in a microfinance bank.
Apart from paying the insured deposits in the event of bank failure, the Corporation does not ignore the uninsured deposits. NDIC deploys all legal means to recover loans of failed banks, the Corporation sells assets of such banks and the proceeds are distributed (as liquidation dividend) among the uninsured depositors.
Through this means, the Corporation has paid over N100 billion to depositors of liquidated banks. The payments are not done in secret. NDIC has been publishing in newspapers, radio and television whenever insured deposits and uninsured deposits were due for payment. We implore those depositors who have not responded to our calls to come forward to collect their insured deposits and liquidation dividends already declared for uninsured deposits. Depositor are free to visit any of our offices all over the country physically, write to us, access our website or make phone calls to clarify issues.
The protection of the depositor remains our top priority. That is why we continue to stress the need for depositors to patronize only financial institutions that are licensed by the CBN and which display the NDIC Sticker with the words: “insured by NDIC” in their banking halls or entrances. It is for this reason that I must sound a word of warning against patronizing dubious fund managers, otherwise known as “Wonder Banks”. They persuade their unsuspecting victims to part with their hard earned money with promises of interest rates that are unrealistically high as the returns on their investments. The result is the loss of vital savings and sometimes disastrous consequences to the lives of the victims. Also the emerging trend of investing in digital currencies popularly known as Bitcoins is equally dangerous because just like the “Wonder Banks”, the digital currencies are not licensed by the CBN and are therefore not insured by the NDIC.
“Knowledge”, they say. “is power” and we believe that depositors who are enlightened about the benefits and limitations of deposit insurance are empowered to make informed financial decisions that would contribute to their quality of life. Therefore, I encourage you to visit the NDIC pavilion where our staff are on ground to address enquiries on the Mandate and activities of the Corporation.
Before I conclude this address, I would like to encourage our distinguished guests, depositors and other members of the public to call the Corporation’s 24-hour NDIC Help Desk with a Toll Free telephone line 08063424357 for additional information. You can also access our website on www.ndic.gov.ng or our various social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
In conclusion, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the President and other Executive Members of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce, our royal fathers, distinguished quests, and gentlemen of the press who found time out of their busy schedules to be here today. I pray to Almighty God for journey mercies to your respective destinations.
Thank you for your attention.