I am highly delighted to welcome our distinguished guests to the NDIC Special Day at the ongoing 30th Enugu International Trade Fair. I am particularly pleased and honoured that our revered royal fathers, State Government officials, captains of industry, members of the academia, representatives of professional bodies, members of the fourth estate of the realm, civil society organizations and other special guests have all taken time out of their very tight schedules to be in our midst today.

Permit me to also express my felicitations and deep appreciation to the President and the entire members of the Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture for the successful organization of the 30th edition of the Enugu International Trade Fair and for the platform it provided for the NDIC to further educate Nigerians on the scope and limitations of the Deposit Insurance System (DIS).

I have no doubt that the patronage of local and foreign exhibitors resulted from the excellent organization of the fair for which the President of the chamber and his management team must take full credit. Of equal importance is the theme of the fair itself: “Promoting and Enhancing Value Addition in the Oil and Non-Oil Sectors of the Economy for Robust Economic Growth and Development”.

The theme strongly supports the Federal Government’s initiative of unleashing the full potentials of the nation’s agricultural sector to drive employment generation, robust revenue base and sustainable growth of the economy as stipulated in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP). The NDIC, through the robust implementation of its mandate, also supports the realization of the goals of the ERGP.

May I seize this opportunity to express the firm commitment of the Corporation towards the sustenance of a sound, safe and stable financial system which is the essential pillar for sustainable economic growth in line with the cardinal goals and objectives of the current administration.

As you may be aware, the NDIC is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. It was established in 1989 as a critical member of the Nigerian financial safety-net, with the broad public policy objectives of protecting bank depositors and promoting public confidence in the entire financial system. Both objectives are consistent with the NDIC’s core mandates of Deposit Guarantee, Bank Supervision, Distress Resolution, and Bank Liquidation.

The Corporation protects depositors by guaranteeing their deposits in the unlikely event of bank failure. It also conducts risk based supervision of the banks in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and ensures the timely resolution of distressed banks, including their orderly liquidation as a last resort.

With respect to its deposit guarantee mandate, the Corporation reimburses depositors of Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), Non-Interest Banks (NIBs) and Primary Mortgage Banks (PMBs) up to a maximum limit of N500,000.00 each, while depositors of Microfinance Bank (MFBs) are reimbursed up to N200,000.00 each.

It is important to stress that presently, the insured limits cover more than ninety-seven per cent of depositors in the entire banking system in Nigeria. The remaining three percent with excess uninsured limits are paid their balances from the proceeds of the liquidation processes after the resolution of financial institutions. It is important to stress that as at December 2017, the Corporation’s N500,000.00 maximum insured limit covered 96,760,687 accounts which represented 97.63 per cent of the entire accounts in the banking system.

The NDIC has also extended Deposit Insurance coverage to depositors of non-interest banking institutions (NIBIs) and subscribers of Mobile Money Operators (MMOs) to the maximum limit of ₦500,000.00 through the Pass-Through Deposit Insurance Scheme (PTDIS) and Non-Interest Deposit Insurance Scheme (NIDIS) respectively.

In the proactive management of responding to emerging challenges in the financial system, the NDIC continues 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% in 2020.

To this end, the Corporation has redoubled its efforts at enhancing financial literacy to equip more Nigerians with the requisite knowledge required to make informed financial decisions in their engagement with various financial institutions.

In 2018, a total of 4,083 Nigerians benefitted from such programs through our participation in the Kaduna, Enugu, Lagos and Kano International Trade Fairs. Similarly, over 3,260 students of secondary schools across the country were mentored in the habit of savings through our participation in the 2017 and 2018 Financial Literacy Day programs while a total of 841 students were hosted on academic visits to our Head Office in Abuja.

It is pertinent to note, at this juncture, that the Corporation has commenced the process of verification and payment of depositors of 154 MFBs and 6 PMBs whose licenses were recently revoked by the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN) in the last quarter of 2018.

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, you will recall that in the last quarter of 2018, the NDIC efficiently managed the resolution of the defunct Skye Bank with the establishment of the Polaris Bank. The Corporation has also taken measures to ensure that all those who contributed to the failure of the bank are prosecuted through the appropriate legal means to serve as a deterrent to others.

In February this year, a Lagos Federal High Court sentenced the Managing Director of the failed Integrated Microfinance Bank (IMFB) Plc. Mr. Simon Ademola Akinteye to 32 years imprisonment over frauds that led to the failure of the banks.

The Corporation has also been relentless in its debt recovery efforts particularly the debts owed to banks in-liquidation so as to enhance payment of liquidation dividends to depositors whose balances are in excess of the insured limits.

In 2018, a total of ₦526,397,116.26 from respect of Deposit Money Banks in-liquidation, ₦51,159,867.97 and ₦710,057.83 from Primary Mortgage Banks and Micro Finance Banks respectively. The cumulative recovery from debtors of Deposit Money Banks, Micro Finance Banks and Primary Mortgage Banks as at December 31, 2018 stood at N29.01 billion, N125.84 million and N290.43 million respectively.

These efforts were boosted by series of judgments obtained against banks in-liquidation and realization of physical assets of closed banks. Apart from the conviction of the MD of the defunct Integrated MFB, the Corporation also secured a landmark judgment against the First Bank of Nigeria Plc. to the tune of N556,493,034.16 in favour of depositors of Lead Merchant Bank Limited (in-liquidation).

As I earlier stated, this year marks the Corporation’s 30th Year Anniversary. For us, it has been three decades of resilient hard work and continuous innovations to achieve our goal of becoming the best Deposit Insurer in the world by the year 2020. We may not be there yet, but already the NDIC has become a reference point in the implementation of the DIS in Africa and beyond.

The Corporation is now a hub for the provision of capacity building for other sister agencies across Africa. Only two weeks ago, we played hosts to delegates from Kenya and Uganda. More participants are also expected from all over Africa in the coming months.

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, let me conclude by adding that while the increased sophistication of cybercrime and the proliferation of Ponzi schemes will remain a challenge to the Corporation in the coming years, the NDIC is nevertheless resolute in its determination to acquire the requisite knowledge and capacity to play its distinct role as a critical member of the Nigerian financial safety net with distinction.

Thank you all and I wish you all a safe return to your respective destinations.