1. Let me start by welcoming our distinguished guests, particularly our royal fathers, state government officials, the private sector, members of the academia, the media, as well as the civil society groups for honoring the Corporation with their presence here on the day specially dedicated to showcase the past and present activities of the Corporation as a critical member of the Nigerian financial safety net.
2. May I also seize this opportunity to congratulate the President and the entire members of the Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture for the resounding success the 29th edition of the Enugu International Trade Fair has recorded. I am convinced that the massive turn-out and patronage have much to do with the theme of the fair itself: “Engendering the competitiveness of Nigerian products in the global market”. Indeed the choice of the theme could not have been more apt given the current administration’s quest to harness all the nation’s potentials for economic growth and also to achieve the Vision 20:2020. As a supervisor in the Nigerian Financial system, the NDIC is determined to play its role to ensure that the goals and aspirations of the vision are actualized by contributing to the safety and soundness of the nation’s financial system.
3. As you may be aware, the key mandate of the Corporation is to provide deposit guarantee to depositors of insured financial institutions, bank supervision, distress resolution, and bank liquidation. Since its inception, the Corporation has gone from strength to strength not only in the implementation of its mandate, but also in ensuring that the over-riding public policy objectives for establishing an explicit Deposit Insurance system in the country were realized.
4. With the protection of depositors in mind, coupled with the realities of the nation’s economy over time, the Maximum Deposit Insurance Coverage (MDIC) per depositor per bank progressively increased from ₦50,000.00 in 1989 to its current ₦500,000 per depositor per DMB. Similarly, the insured limit for microfinance banks (MFBs) and primary mortgage banks (PMBs) in 2009 was increased from ₦100,000.00 to ₦200,000.00 per depositor per MFB/PMB in 2010. However, on August 4, 2016, the Hon. Minister of Finance approved an upward review of the deposit insured limit for depositors of PMBs to ₦500,000.00 in order to ensure coverage of over 90 percent of depositors in the banking sub sector.
5. Following the licensing of non-interest banking institutions (NIBIs) and 21 mobile money operators (MMOs) by the CBN, the Corporation equally extended deposit insurance coverage to the depositors and subscribers of these banking products to the maximum limit of ₦500,000.00 per depositor through the non interest deposit insurance scheme (NIDIS) and the Pass-Through Deposit Insurance Scheme (PTDIS) respectively. It is however 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 sale of physical assets of the closed banks.
6. It is in keeping with this spirit of responding to the changing financial climate that the Corporation 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’s has enhanced its efforts in its role as a financial safety net participant by providing an enabling regulatory and supervisory environment that ensures that the hard earned savings of small savers are protected.
7. This is vital to financial inclusion because poor and uninformed depositors need assurance that the services of the licensed deposit taking institutions are safe and that they have access to their money whenever they need it.
8. Furthermore, the Corporation’s activities through the supervision of banks, continuous monitoring and oversight serves as consumer protection for depositors which enhances confidence in the financial system. This acts as an incentive for the unbanked to access financial services of licensed banks.
9. Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, the NDIC has been consistently proactive in its response to events in our dynamic financial environment. Unfortunately, despite the extensive public awareness initiatives of the Corporation to sensitize Nigerians on the dangers posed by illegal fund managers “wonder banks” and other illicit investment schemes who offer extra-ordinary interest rates and profits, many continue to lose fortunes and even their life savings to Ponzi schemes and other illegal fund managers with disastrous consequences.
10. Early this year, the NDIC published a Special Notice in seven national dailies to caution the general public on the dangers associated with dealing in Bitcoin and other Crypto-Currencies for the following reasons:
i. Digital currencies do not belong to the category of currencies or coins issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) or a Central Bank of any other country.
ii. Secondly, digital currencies are not backed by any physical commodity, such as gold.
iii. Third, digital currencies are also not deposits or instruments authorized by the CBN. Therefore, they are not insured by the NDIC.
11. Let me reiterate that the Corporation will not relent in the sensitization of Nigerians on financial, operational, legal and security risks they face by patronizing Ponzi schemes and digital currencies. I seize this opportunity to urge our royal fathers and community leaders to partner with the Corporation as it seeks to enhance financial literacy among Nigerians. I urge members of the public to patronize only banking institutions that display the NDIC sticker: “Insured by NDIC” in their banking halls or entrances.
12. I also encourage you all to visit the NDIC pavilion where our experienced staff will be on ground to address enquiries and also clarify issues about the operations of the deposit insurance. A helpdesk has also been set up at the stand where depositors of closed banks can find out where and how to access their deposits as well as process their claims.
13. In addition, the Corporation operates a robust 24-hour Help Desk with a Toll Free telephone line number 080063424357 for further information, enquiries on depositors’ claims settlement and complaints on sharp practices by their banks. The general public can also access our website on www.ndic.gov.ng as well as our various social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.
In conclusion, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the President and other Executive Members of the Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, our royal fathers and other distinguished guests who took time out of their busy schedules to honour our invitation. I wish you all a safe return to your respective destinations.
UMARU IBRAHIM, FCIB, mni
MANAGING DIRECTOR/CHIEF EXECUTIVE,
NIGERIA DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION