As Nigerians groan under severe hardship occasioned by the current naira swap challenges, the National Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has asked depositors not to be afraid of depositing their monies in the banks.
It said all legitimately deposited monies in the banks are safe.
This is even as the Corporation called on the depositors and creditors of 30 closed microfinance, primary mortgage, and deposit money banks to come for verification and payment of the excess of their guaranteed sums.
The managing director/chief executive of NDIC, Malam Bello Hassan, stated this yesterday during the NDIC Special Day at the 44th Kaduna International Trade Fair.
Hassan, who was represented by the manager, Communications and Public Affairs Unit, Tanko Ibrahim Yahaya, noted that the NDIC has realised enough funds to pay all depositors and creditors of the closed banks.
According to Hassan, the deposit money banks, primary mortgage banks, the payment service banks and mobile money operators are all insured up to N500,000 per depositors per bank, while those of microfinance banks are insured up to N200,000 per depositor per bank.
He noted: “Recently, the Corporation repeated its call to depositors of 20 closed banks on which it has declared full (i.e 100%) liquidation dividends to come forward for verification and payment of their deposits that are in excess of the guaranteed sums. The implication of this is that through our dogged liquidation activities, the Corporation has realised enough funds to fully pay all depositors of the closed banks.
“Similar notices were also sent to creditors of seven DMBs in liquidation as well as depositors and ex-staffs of two MFBs and a PMB, details of which are still available on our website and social media handles. I call on depositors, creditors and shareholders of the listed closed banks to avail themselves of the verification platforms provided by the Corporation to claim their funds.
“We are happy to notify the general public that the Corporation has won the court case versus shareholders of the defunct Fortune Bank International, hence all depositors of the defunct bank can now visit our offices across the country to file their claims for the purpose of reimbursement of their trapped deposits in the bank or use the other channels”.
Hassan further assured that the Corporation protects depositors through the discharge of its mandate in four critical ways.
He listed the method of protection to include guaranteeing deposits in banks, supervising the banks in conjunction with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to ensure that they are run in efficient manner in line with extant laws and regulations, resolving issues of distressed banks to reduce instances of failure, and ensuring orderly and efficient liquidation of failed banks to prevent disruptions to the payment system.
He continued: “Apart from depositors of Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), Primary Mortgage Banks (PMBs) and Microfinance Banks (MBs), the Corporation has also been responsive by extending deposit insurance coverage to depositors of Non-Interest Banks (NIBs), Payment Service Banks (PSBs) and subscribers of Mobile Money Operators (MMOs).
“Depositors of DMBs, PMBs, PSBs, and subscribers of MMOs are insured up to a maximum limit of N500,000.00 per depositor per bank, and those of MBs are guaranteed up to a maximum limit of N200,000.00 per depositor per bank.”
APC, Obaseki Differ On Policy Suspension
Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, are not on the same page on the clamour for the suspension of deadline for the controversial naira swap policy.
While the governing party implored the party’s leader, President Muhammadu Buhari, to direct the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to obey the Supreme Court ruling which voided the February 10 apex bank deadline on the swap of old currency notes for new ones, Obaseki stated vehemently that not all governors of the 36 states of the federation are in support of the demand.
APC had yesterday urged the president to end what it termed the “current madness”, which has caused untold hardship on the people, even as he expressed confidence in his democratic disposition to once again display his democratic credentials.
In a statement issued on Thursday in Abuja, national vice chairman (Northwest) of the party, Salihu Moh. Lukman, said with the general election inching closer by the day, Nigerians are made to face the most uncertain of times by the deliberate cash squeeze enforced by a deliberate policy of the CBN.
He noted that it was partly on account of the frustration by APC that governments of Kogi, Kaduna and Zamfara States approached the highest court in the land which quashed the February 10 deadline given by the apex bank to end the validity of the old Naira notes.
The former director general of the Progressive Governors Forum stated: “With this judgement, it means that even after February 10, the old notes would still serve as legal tender. The big question is, will this end the current Naira (old or new) scarcity? It may not.
“If, however, the speculated objective of any so-called cabal is to frustrate the February 25, 2023 elections by either creating conditions that could mobilize electorates to vote against the APC and its candidates, especially Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, God willing it shall not succeed.
“In all of these, it needs to be clearly stated that throughout the tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari, nothing tests his credentials as a converted democrat more than the need to demonstrate more listening ears and compassion to the plight of Nigerians.
“As a converted democrat, which I believe he is, President Muhammadu Buhari needs to demonstrate that by respecting the Supreme Court judgment and direct the CBN to end the current madness that imposes Naira scarcity in the country and untold hardship on millions of Nigerians.
“For both APC, as a party, and Nigeria, as a nation, one of the lessons that the current reality imposes is the need to develop our political parties and make them capable of regulating the conduct of elected functionaries. This is not only the case with APC, but also the case with all our parties. Why should we have a challenge with grave consequences on the electoral fortunes of political parties, yet none of the parties contesting the 2023 elections have convened any emergency meeting of their National Executive Committee NEC? Yet, we want elections to produce accountable leaders. Once party organs have seized to be decision making platforms, the domineering control of government institutions by so-called cabals will remain strong.
Moving Nigerian democracy forward requires all of us as Nigerians to be more honest beyond some partisan permutations about winning elections. As members of APC, we are working hard to win the 2023 elections, but we also will work even harder to ensure that our next government to be led by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu will come with more listening ears to Nigerians and fellow party leaders.
“God willing, Asiwaju Tinubu’s APC government must be a remarkable improvement on President Buhari’s government whereby party leaders will through all our organs as provided in our constitution effectively and efficiently take all necessary decisions, which would be respected by Asiwaju Tinubu as President of the Federal Republic, God willing, and all elected representatives”, he added.
Noting that only about 39% of Nigerians have bank accounts, Lukman added that more than 300 out of the 774 local governments in the country have no bank branches or cash centres.
“Where they exist, the bank branches and cash centres are mostly located in the headquarters. Specifically, in terms of cash centres, the total number of Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) in the country is less than 20,000.
Lukman added that there are also strong concerns about how the combination of cash squeeze and the current fuel scarcity across the country can lead to unrest and possible postponement of the elections.
But in his reaction to the development, Edo State governor distanced himself from the comments and moves by the governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, and some of his colleagues against the currency swap policy of the CBN.
In a statement by special adviser to the governor on media projects, Crusoe Osagie, the state government said the Kaduna State governor does not speak for Edo State.
He called for “guided utterances and inferences in such critical matters, especially in the heat of the political season.”
Osagie said, “The Edo State government distances itself from the comments and moves by the Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai and some other governors against the currency swap policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
“We are not a party to the suit instituted by the governments of Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara States against the CBN’s policy and take exemption to the claim by the Kaduna State Governor that the move by the three governments is backed by Nigeria’s 36 State Governments.
“The currency swap policy, which is intricately linked to the cashless policy of the CBN, is aimed at promoting financial inclusion; preventing inducement of voters in elections; tackling corruption and money-laundering and checking ransom payments among other cash-based financial infractions.”
He noted that the state government acknowledges the difficulties that have arisen from the cash swap policy and empathises with all Nigerians over the challenges faced with accessing the new notes as well as other difficulties in conducting financial transactions in the last few days.
He noted: “While this situation is being managed by the concerned authorities and relief being sought by the authorised agencies, it is disingenuous for a suit to be filed by three governments and then inferences are made to the effect that it is the entire state governments in Nigeria that sued the Federal Government and that they all stand against the CBN’s policy.
“The Kaduna State governor does not speak for us in Edo State and we urge for guided utterances and inferences in such critical matters, especially in the heat of the political season.
“The Edo State government reiterates its commitment to the good people of the State and assures that it will continue to work assiduously to protect lives and properties and provide the conducive environment for all to thrive and live life to its fullness.”