News Column

NDIC, CBN Clash Over Responsibility Claims

July 9, 2014

Musa Abdullahi Krishi and Ibrahim Kabiru Sule

The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday engaged in counter claims of responsibility to liquidate failing insurance institutions in the country.

The two agencies appeared at a public hearing by the Rep Jones Onyereri-led House of Representatives banking and currency committee on a bill seeking to amend the NDIC Act 2014.

In the new bill, NDIC is seeking for more powers and legal frameworks to discharge its statutory responsibilities of risk-minimisation and to surmount challenges that arise against the backdrop of the 2009 global economic crisis.

Among the areas for amendment, the corporation also sought for solitary power to liquidate financial insurance institutions found to be lacking the necessary requirements to guarantee safety of depositors' monies.

However, CBN's Director on Banking Supervision, Mrs Tokumbo Martins, said the apex bank could not make its position known to the commission due to pending issues about the NDIC amendment.

Martins said there were two or three areas of the amendment that include mandate, self-appointment as liquidator and termination of insurance firm's license which "still need to be harmonised between NDIC and CBN."

NDIC Managing Director Umaru Ibrahim had said the corporation proposed for amendment to areas that seek to ensure "prompt payment of insured deposits following failure of an insured institution by reducing the time of reimbursement from 90 to 60 days," and "powers to deal with parties at fault i.e directors and officers who cause the failure of an insured institution."

Other areas, Ibrahim said, include the "power to reimburse insured depositors notwithstanding pending court suits, prevention of court execution against the assets of the corporation for the liability of a failed insured institution, prohibition of court orders aimed at preventing the corporation from carrying out its statutory function of deposit protection among others.

He said, "there have been challenges that have threatened the safety, stability and soundness of the banking system which include banking malpractices leading to the failure of some banks as was

expressed in the banking crises of 2009."

This concern caused the corporation to require "the necessary legal backing to carry out certain proactive actions to protect depositors and safeguard the financial system," he said.

The managing director, however, said he was surprised at CBN's objection to certain areas of the amendment, after getting written approval and support of the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele.

"I wrote a letter to Emefiele and I later met him. He has agreed on all the areas. Mr chairman, if you remember, I even showed you the copy of the letter by the CBN governor," Ibrahim responded.

But CBN's representative, Mrs Martins responded saying that the "CBN governor did not understand what NDIC is proposing."

Assets Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON), the Chartered Institute of Bankers (CIBN), former NDIC boss, Ganiu Ogunleye and other stakeholders that contributed have all supported the passage of the proposed amendment of the NDIC Act.

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Source: AllAfrica

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