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Beware of “wonder banks”, NDIC warns Nigerians

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The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has urged Nigerians to be wary of “wonder banks” that give extra-ordinary interest rates and profits on investments.

Its Managing Director, Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim, gave the advice in an address at the NDIC Special Day at the ongoing 29th Enugu International Trade Fair in Enugu on Thursday.

Umaru, who was represented by NDIC Director of Strategy Development, Mr Festus Ekechi, said many Nigerians had continued to lose fortunes and even their life savings to Ponzi schemes and other illegal fund managers with disastrous consequences.

“The corporation’s activities, through the supervision of banks, continuous monitoring and oversight, serves as consumer protection for depositors (in legal banks) which enhances confidence in the financial system.

“This acts as an incentive for the unbanked to access financial services of licensed banks.

“Poor and uninformed depositors need assurance that the services of licensed deposit taking institutions are safe and that they have access to their money whenever they need it,” he said.

The NDIC managing director said the NDIC was determined to ensure the safety and soundness of the nation’s financial system.

According to him, the key mandate of the corporation is to provide deposit guarantee to depositors of insured financial institutions, banks supervision, distress resolution, and bank liquidation.

He said that since inception, NDIC had grown from strength-to-strength in ensuring that the over-riding public policy objectives for establishing a deposit insurance system in the country were realised.

“With the protection of depositors in mind, the Maximum Deposit Insurance Coverage (MDIC) per depositor per bank progressively increased from N50, 000 in 1989 to its current N500, 000 per depositor per Deposit Money Banks (DMBs).

“Similarly, the insured limit for Micro-Finance Banks (MFBs) and Primary Mortgage Banks (PMBs) in 2009 was increased from N100, 000 to N200, 000 per depositor per MFB/PMB in 2010.

“However, on August 4, 2016, the Minister of Finance approved an upward review of the deposit insured limit for depositors of PMBs to N500, 000 in order to ensure coverage of over 90 per cent of depositors in the banking sub-sector.

“It is 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 sales of physical assets of the closed banks,” he said.

Earlier, the President of Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Chief Emeka Udeze, had commended NDIC for always partnering with the chamber to educate the banking public on the safety of their bank deposits.

Udeze said that NDIC remained resolute in the protection of depositors’ funds within banks and other financial institutions in the country.

“The NDIC has helped to build confidence amongst bank depositors, thereby helping to stabilise the Nigerian financial system,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the fair, which has entered its 7th day, has its theme as “Engendering the Competiveness of Nigerian Products in the Global Market.” (NAN)

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