Permit me to express my great pleasure and pride in participating in today’s Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) Special Day at the on-going 35th Kaduna International Trade Fair 2014. Let me start by welcoming our distinguished guests, particularly our royal fathers, state government officials, members of the academia and our dear stakeholders who found time to join us on this very special occasion.
I would also like to congratulate the President and the entire members of the Kaduna Chamber of Commerce for this year’s trade fair which has turned out to be a great success. I commend the Chamber for its tireless efforts and commitment towards opening up new economic partnerships to boost business activities with a view to attracting foreign investments into Nigeria. These emerging partnerships are captured in the theme of this year’s trade fair – “Agricultural Transformation for Industrial Development: Public Private Partnership (PPP)” which focuses on the importance of harnessing the nation’s potentials for economic growth.
Indeed, the Corporation values the national impact of the annual Kaduna International Trade Fair as a major investment hub, attracting both indigenous and international participants. That is why since 2008, the Corporation has been participating at the trade fair to showcase its landmark achievements and enhance public awareness on our mandate and activities. We believe that if the NDIC’s core mandate, operational activities, challenges and achievements are understood, then we stand a better chance of gaining public trust, appreciation and support.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, the NDIC was established by Decree No. 22 of 1988, now NDIC Act 2006 to protect depositors’ funds as part of financial safety net for the banking industry. In the event of bank failure, each depositor of deposit money banks (DMBs) is entitled to a claim up to a maximum guaranteed sum of N500,000 each and a maximum of N200,000 each for depositors of microfinance banks (MFBs) and primary mortgage banks (PMBs). A Depositor with a claim above the insured amounts is paid dividends from the proceeds realized on the sale of assets and recovery of debts owed to the closed bank.
The NDIC has also been actively involved in promoting financial inclusion. Deposit insurance is a vital segment of financial inclusion because the small savers need assurance that the services of the financial institutions are safe and available at all times. This is where microfinance banks (MFBs) come in because they play a vital role in providing financial services to the urban and rural poor and are veritable tools for poverty alleviation. However, the uneven distribution of the MFBs in the country has been a source for serious concern to the Corporation. At the moment there are about 800 MFBs in the country, yet these figure seems inadequate against the backdrop of the rural and urban population that are currently excluded from Financial Inclusion.
I must at this point commend the Kaduna and Kano state governments for recognising the important role of microfinance banks in improving the quality of life of their people by setting up such banks in their states. Kebbi State had recently followed suit by taking advantage of the CBN’s credit guarantee scheme for small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs). The NDIC remains committed to ensure that microfinance banks are effectively supervised and that depositors’ funds are well managed. Apart from its supervisory activities, the Corporation has been providing technical support to the MFBs to ensure that they remain viable. Last year the NDIC organised a nationwide workshop for the operators of the microfinance banking subsector in which representatives of all the existing microfinance banks in the country participated.
Let me acknowledge the fact that the Corporation is not unaware of the perennial problems between the customers and their banks, ranging from arbitrary bank interest charges; account balances manipulation to outright frauds and forgeries. While the banks have taken some steps in addressing the problems, the Corporation has introduced other measures to combat such infractions by establishing a help desk, which is a dedicated toll-free 24-hour telephone line (080063424357), to enable bank customers and the general public report financial abuses at all times. In addition, the Corporation created Complaint Units in the Bank Examination Department (BED) and Special Insured Institutions Department (SIID) to cater for the need of customers of deposit money banks and primary mortgage banks/microfinance banks who wish to lodge complaints. That is not all. Apart from the Development of a robust and interactive Website – www.ndic.ng.org, the NDIC has been circulating free of charge several researched publications and public awareness pamphlets such as 20 Years of Deposit Insurance, Facts about NDIC, Basic Knowledge in Banking and Deposit Insurance, Deposit Insurance and You, amongst others.
Another critical initiative was the rebranding of the Corporation. On Thursday, October 31, 2013; the winds of positive change reverberated across the NDIC with the launching of its unique corporate identity. This change represents the NDIC of our dreams, the NDIC of the future that is geared towards the consistent provision of qualitative service delivery to our teeming depositors and other stakeholders. Understandably, the logical question is, why does the NDIC need to re-brand? The answer is not farfetched. The rebranding initiative was part of the NDIC Board and Management strategic re-engineering to review the processes, procedures and systems of the Corporation with a view to effectively discharging its mandate.
As you are also aware, depositors and other stakeholders often confuse us with insurance companies. Our new brand speaks as a symbol of the NDIC mandate of depositor protection and its contribution towards financial system stability. The slogan on our new corporate identity: “PROTECTING YOUR BANK DEPOSITS” not only showcases the NDIC as a deposit insurer but also clearly distinguishes it from conventional insurance companies. That is not all. The rebranding initiative is not a mere change of colours and logo, it is about distinguishing the NDIC from other government agencies in service delivery. Just recently, a non-governmental organization (NGO), Independent Service Delivery Monitoring Group (ISDMG) conducted an on-line survey, the outcome of which rated the NDIC as the most outstanding public institution in Nigeria in finance and investment.
Gender mainstreaming has been a key element in redefining the relevance and contributions of its female staff towards empowering them to achieve their career aspirations. The agenda was set at last year’s first ever Management’s Parley with Female Employees” tagged “It is Possible!” where interactive sessions between Management and female staff were held to enlighten the female employees of the equal opportunities within the NDIC.
In conclusion, I wish to on behalf of the NDIC Board, Management and Staff to profoundly thank the organizers of this trade fair. May I also express our sincere appreciation to all our special guests, particularly Hon Commissioners and our Royal Fathers. Undoubtedly, the press has always been very supportive of the NDIC activities.
Distinguished Ladies and gentlemen, I thank you for your attention.
Umaru Ibrahim, FCIB, mni
Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation.
27 February, 2014