Raphael Ede, Enugu

The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has lamented that in spite warnings and public enlightenment initiatives, many Nigerians have continued to fall prey into illegal fund managers and operators nicknamed ‘wonder banks’ and other illicit investment schemes who offer extraordinary interest rates and profits.

Managing Director of NDIC, Umaru Ibrahim, stated this Thursday, during NDIC ‘Day’ at the ongoing 29th Enugu International Trade Fair.

“Many Nigerians have continued to lose fortunes and even their life savings to Ponzi schemes and other illegal fund managers with disastrous consequences”, regretted Umaru, noting that the Corporation had earlier in the year published a special notice in seven national dailies to caution the general public on Crypto-Currencies.

“Digital currencies do not belong to the category of currencies or coins issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) or Central Bank of any country.

“Secondly, digital currencies are not backed by any physical commodity, such as gold.

“Third, digital currencies are also not deposits or instruments authorized by the CBN. Therefore, they are not insured by the NDIC,” he said.

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Umaru said that 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 N500, 000 per depositor.

He explained that NDIC in response to the changing financial climate that it continues to be at the forefront of driving the key objective 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 percent in 2010 to 20.0 percent in 2020.

Earlier in his speech, the President of Enugu Chamber of Commerce Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA), Pharm. Emeka Udeze, noted that NDIC has remained a life-line back-up for Nigerian teeming banking publics, who had hitherto suffered dearly in the past prior to the establishment of NDIC by losing all their deposits whenever crisis occur in the banking sector.

“Permit me to use this opportunity to plead with the CBN through its regulatory framework to make the work of NDIC easy by ensuring that the chances of bank failure is reduced to the barest minimum” he said.

Udeze, however, urged NDIC to look into their past submissions especially, the level of compensation paid to depositors when banks collapse. “It is indeed a big challenge and we do hope that NDIC would increase the percentage of money to depositors depending on the total amount of deposit each customer has in the bank.”