Nigeria’s vice president, Yemi Osinbajo, on Tuesday asked the management of the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) to come up with a sustainable framework to empower millions of poor Nigerians through the extension of credit to them.
Mr Osinbajo made this call when members of the new Board of Directors and Management of the NDIC, led by its chairman, Ronke Sokefun, visited him in his office in Abuja.
According to Mr Osinbajo, the present administration was keen on the issue of financial inclusion and was desirous to see millions of poor Nigerians empowered through the extension of credit to them.
Lamenting the failure of the current structure for the operation of Micro-Finance Banks (MFBs) to achieve the desired goals of financial inclusion, Mr Osinbajo urged the NDIC to adopt a sustainable framework to achieve the objectives set by the regulators.
He called for concerted efforts by the relevant institutions, including the Central Bank of Nigeria and NDIC, to come up with a framework to facilitate the funding of federal government’s social intervention programmes such as the N-Power, Trader-Money, and Market-Money to alleviate the suffering of millions of Nigerians.
Earlier, the chairman of the board of the NDIC had thanked the vice president for receiving them.
As a critical player in the Nigerian financial safety-net, she said the NDIC had achieved remarkable success in the execution of its primary mandates of effective supervision of the insured banks, timely payment of insured deposits and the implementation of a robust and efficient failure resolution regime.
Mrs Sokefun drew the vice-president’s attention to the NDIC Amendment Bill currently pending before the Senate and solicited his assistance to ensure its quick passage before the expiry of the present legislative session.
In his remarks, the Managing Director/CEO of the Corporation, Umaru Ibrahim, also sought the assistance of the vice president towards the speedy passage the bill to amend the NDIC Act pending at the Senate.
Mr Ibrahim said the new law will strengthen the capacity of the corporation to effectively supervise insured financial institutions for a safe and sound banking system in the country.
On the activities of the corporation, the NDIC boss informed the vice president that it has undertaken periodic examination of banks in collaboration with the CBN. He said the NDIC also issues reports and makes recommendations to the boards of banks for compliance to ensure the safety, soundness and stability of the Nigerian banking system.
He said regulatory authorities were committed to sanitise and strengthen the micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs), through enhanced capital requirements of MFBs and the establishment of a National Microfinance Bank to enable the subsector play its role of providing credit.
In his response, Mr Osinbajo expressed confidence in the ability of the new board and management of the NDIC, describing them as experienced technocrats capable of steering the corporation in the right direction.
While congratulating the chairman and other members of the board for their appointment, Mr Osinbajo also commended the management of the corporation for prioritising the interests of Nigerian depositors in its choice of the bridge bank option for the resolution of many banks in liquidation.
The vice president said a lot still needed to be done in the area of sanitising the banking system.
He also stressed the need for fresh ideas to produce a more resilient structure involving the NDIC and other relevant stakeholders to address the issue of non-performing loans in the industry and warned that the federal government was not prepared to repeat the mistakes of the past.