It is my honour and privilege to stand before you all today on the unique occasion of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) Special Day at the on-going 28th Enugu International Trade Fair. I would like to warmly welcome our distinguished guests, particularly our royal fathers, state government officials, captains of industry, members of the academia, civil society organisations, gentlemen of the press and all our stakeholders who found time to join us on this auspicious occasion.
Let me congratulate the President and the entire Council Members of the Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture for their remarkable efforts in making this year’s trade fair a reality. There is no doubt that over the years, the Chamber has been strongly committed to the rapid transformation of the nation’s economy through the promotion of investment opportunities, industrial growth and employment generation that are aimed at poverty alleviation and economic empowerment. These efforts have been aptly captured in the 2017 trade fair theme: “Promoting Nigeria’s Industrial Sector and SMEs for Inclusive and Robust Economy”.
This underscores the relevance of collaboration among all stakeholders, banking institutions and financial safety-net players which is one of the cardinal policy thrusts of the NDIC. The NDIC relies on this collaboration and partnership in discharging its mandate of depositor protection which is succinctly encapsulated in its slogan: NDIC … Protecting your bank deposits.
Since 2008, the NDIC’s participation in international trade fairs had offered the Corporation a unique platform for engagement with the business community and the grassroots in enhancing public awareness on its core mandate and showcasing its landmark achievements over the years.
Mr. President, our royal fathers, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, since the advent of NDIC in the nation’s financial landscape in 1989, the Corporation had always endeavored to respond appropriately to emerging developments and policy interventions in the financial services industry to effectively guarantee adequate and timely protection to bank depositors.
The recent policy interventions, including the development of deposit insurance framework on non-interest banking institutions (NIBIs) and the introduction of pass-through deposit insurance scheme (PTDIS) to subscribers of 22 mobile money operators (MMOs) were aimed at promoting financial inclusion and consumer protection. These policy interventions also involved the extension of DIS coverage with a maximum deposit insurance limit of ₦500,000 per depositor/subscriber which covered over 95 per cent of depositors/subscribers. It is also pertinent to point out that depositors who have funds in excess of the insured limit are entitled to liquidation dividend after recovery of debts and the sale of physical assets of the closed banks.
As part of the efforts to promote financial literacy and financial inclusion among the youths in secondary schools that was initiated by Bankers Committee, the NDIC toured six states of the federation to organise the Financial Literacy Day celebration on Thursday, March 30, 2017. The celebration took the NDIC to Katsina, Bauchi, Plateau, Ondo, Enugu and Akwa Ibom states as part of the activities to mark the 2017 Global Money Week from March 27 – April 2, 2017. All these initiatives and collaborative efforts were in line with the Corporation’s vision: “To become the best deposit insurer in the world by 2020”.
At this juncture, I wish to draw your attention to the emergence of the various Ponzi schemes, popularly called Mavrodi Mundial Movement (MMM) and other forms of digital and blockchain currencies. These ponzi schemes also came in form of virtual currencies, such as Bitcoin, Ripples, Monero, Litecoin, Dogecoin and Onecoin for medium of exchange and web based transactions which were neither authorized by the CBN nor insured by the NDIC. It is disturbing to note that the Ponzi schemes have not only appeared in forms of virtual and digital currencies in our financial landscape, they have also attracted the media and regulatory attention while members of the public view such schemes as investment opportunities and platforms for easy money.
These disturbing developments have necessitated the need for the monetary and regulatory authorities to commence a study on the virtual and digital currencies for the purpose of consumer protection, financial education and in the overall interest of the nation’s economic development in order to identify linkages and leverage on its usage for tax administration, revenue generation and benefits from anti-money laundering initiatives. This underscores the need to come up with legal and regulatory framework for its acceptance in currency and banking regulations.
It is equally important to draw your attention to the activities of some cooperative societies which have gone beyond their primary mandate of accepting contributions from their registered members. I wish to emphasize the fact that cooperative societies are established to mobilise savings from their members only. Therefore, I hereby call on non-members not to patronise them as they are neither licensed as deposit taking financial institutions nor insured by the NDIC.
Let me also use this opportunity to draw your attention to the dangers involved in keeping large sums of money either at home or in market shops and other unsafe outlets. I wish to advise you to continue to utilize the services of the banks in your localities and avoid keeping large sum of monies in your houses and stores so as to avoid the dangers of fire and armed robbery.
Before concluding this address, I would like to restate the NDIC’s commitment to consumer protection in the banking system. To this effect, I wish to announce that the Corporation had established a 24-hour NDIC Help Desk with a toll free telephone line: 080063424357. Depositors and other stakeholders are therefore advised to make effective use of the free telephone line in making their enquiries or laying genuine complaints to the NDIC on sharp practices being perpetrated by their banks. Members of the public can also visit our website: www.ndic.gov.ng which had been integrated with popular social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.
On behalf of Management and staff of the NDIC, I wish to express our profound gratitude to the President and Council Members of the ECCIMA, our highly respected royal fathers, distinguished guests and gentlemen of the press who took time out of their busy schedules to be with us at this special occasion of the NDIC Special Day. May the Almighty God grant all of you journey mercies back to your respective destinations.
I thank you all for your attention while I invite you all to the NDIC pavilion.
UMARU IBRAHIM, FCIB, mni
Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer,
NIGERIA DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION
Thursday, April 6, 2017