Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim, the Managing Director/Chief Executive, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), has suggested the re-establishment of Nigeria Savings Bank to expand the frontiers of Nigeria’s banking system.
Responding to a question at a lecture entitled, ‘NDIC and Engendering Confidence in the Financial Services Sector for Poverty Reduction and Economic Empowerment’, for participants of Executive Course No 38, 2016 at National Institute for Policy & Strategic Studies, Kuru, Jos, Alhaji Ibrahim said that the desire to effectively use post offices and leveraging information and communication technology (ICT) to facilitate financial intermediation would not only mobilise savings but also give access to credits.
He drew the attention of the audience to Britain which in the last decade transformed its post offices into elegant avenues of harnessing savings and credits creation, adding. “Since we are talking of poverty alleviation, we can revisit the issue of National Savings Bank.”
The NDIC CEO disclosed that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Ministry of Communication had been discussing the modalities for effective transformation of post offices so as to serve as banks’ agents.
Speaking on how the NDIC engenders confidence in the financial system towards poverty reduction and economic empowerment, Alhaji Ibrahim emphasized that being a part of the financial safety net, the corporation contributed to poverty reduction as it focused on deposit guarantee and protection of depositors’ interest. He disclosed that as at December 2015, the corporation’s insurance coverage was over 90% of the 67 million depositors in deposit money banks (DMBs) whose deposit liabilities amounted to N17.5 trillion while the total sum of N165.5 billion belonging to 8.4 million depositors of microfinance banks (MFBs) and N73.71 billion belonging to 0.73 million depositors of primary mortgage banks (PMBs) were also covered by over 95%.
The NDIC CEO also said that the corporation was contemplating the introduction of e-deposit payment system towards facilitating depositor payout within the shortest possible time.
He reminded the participants that Deposit Insurance Scheme (DIS) was one of the critical components of Financial System Safety-Net arrangement and financial guarantee to depositors, particularly the small depositors in the event of a bank failure, pointing out that any financial system that did not have a DIS could not be said to have a complete Financial Safety-Net arrangement.
It would be recalled that Federal Saving Bank Act (Repeal) Bill 2015 was among the 46 bills hurriedly passed by Senate in the twilight of the 7th upper chamber on June 2, 2015 leading to intense criticisms of the lawmakers for failing to judiciously use their time and resources to make laws for the benefit of the people.