It gives me a great pleasure and honour to welcome you all to this maiden edition of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) Stakeholders Town Hall Meeting which is holding in the ancient city of Kano. Today’s event is of strategic importance to both NDIC as an institution and its various stakeholders.
To put this programme in proper perspective, it would be necessary to refresh your minds on the rationale behind the establishment of NDIC. The Federal Government established the NDIC by the NDIC Decree No. 22 of 1988 (now repealed and replaced by NDIC Act 16 of 2006) to operate the deposit insurance scheme (DIS) in Nigeria. The scheme is designed to provide a further layer of protection to depositors and complement the role of the Central Bank of Nigeria in ensuring safe, sound and sound banking system.
From the foregoing, it is crystal clear that for the NDIC to remain committed to the discharge of its mandate, consumer protection must be at the centre of its operational policies and programmes. The creation of the NDIC Stakeholders Town Hall Meeting is therefore a bold step towards full expression of the Corporation’s commitment to depositor protection. I am happy to announce that this programme has been designed as an annual event to be held in all the 6 geo-political zones of the country.
The theme of this town hall: “Bank Customer Protection: The Role of NDIC” has come at a very auspicious time when the country is dire need for positive attitude to revamp the economy. This would further demonstrate the Corporation’s determination towards promoting consumer protection in furtherance of the quest for financial education to achieve financial inclusion. It is also aimed at enlightenment of our stakeholders, particularly bank customers on the benefits of savings culture, cooperative societies, cottage industries and petty trading in order to raise the standard of living amongst Nigerians.
Distinguished stakeholders, ladies and gentlemen, you might be inclined to ask who the NDIC’s stakeholders are since today’s event is stakeholders’ town hall meeting. The Corporation’s stakeholders are numerous. They include the depositors; the insured financial institutions comprising the deposit money banks (DMBs), microfinance banks (MFBs) and primary mortgage banks (PMBs); Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN); the Federal Ministry of Finance; National Assembly; the Judiciary; Security agencies, Members of the Financial Services Regulation Coordinating Committee (RSRCC) and mass media amongst others. It is instructive that the Corporation has not only established different platforms for meaningful engagement with each of the stakeholders but has come up with the NDIC Stakeholders Town Hall Meeting to specifically address the concerns and expectations of depositors, especially small savers who either lack or have limited capacity to fight for their rights in the complex financial system thrown up by modern banking.
I am indeed very pleased that the Corporation is providing a platform where the operators (bankers) from deposit money banks (DMBs), primary mortgage banks (PMBs), microfinance banks (MFBs) and other deposit taking financial institutions insured by the NDIC to engage in mutual discussion with their bank customers. This forum also geared towards enhancing public confidence in the banking sector which will ultimately promote financial system stability.
At this juncture, permit me to acknowledge the role of our partners, the Bank Customers Association of Nigeria (BCAN) in organising the maiden edition of this event. The association has collaborated with the Corporation in the effective mobilisation of bank customers and other stakeholders who cut across different social strata to attend this event.
Consumer protection in the financial services sector goes hand in hand with financial literacy. Consumers of financial services and products need to be enlightened to make informed and sound investment decisions. The responsibility for this falls on the shoulders of bank customers themselves, the operators and the regulatory authorities. It is on this note that the Corporation has brought all the three layers of stakeholders together for today’s event. Therefore, I would like to specially commend the representatives of all insured financial institutions that have responded to our invitation despite the short notice. We highly appreciate your presence and hope that this will be sustained at the subsequent editions of the programme. We equally like to appreciate the participation of the media, particularly representatives of Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) and the Coalition of Civil Society Groups.
Four (4) papers on different topical issues in the financial services sector have been lined up for presentation. I have no doubt that the expectations of all stakeholders present here will be met, given the quality and wealth of experience of the resource persons. The papers will also not only be translated into Hausa language, ample time will be given for question and answer on each paper. That is not all. Complaints and Feedback Forms will be made available to stakeholders who might not be opportuned to ask questions or lodge their complaints in the course of the programme.
Once again, I would like to warmly welcome everyone to this occasion and wish you all fruitful deliberations.
I thank you for listening.