Stakeholders in financial sector overwhelmingly support NDIC amendment bill

By Haruna Salami

Stakeholders in financial sector, including the CBN, NFIU, AMCON, EFCC have overwhelmingly supported Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) amendment bill 2022.

This solidarity was at a public hearing organised by the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Instructions on Wednesday.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), while supporting the bill said “CBN would have recommended that this Bill should take a bow and go, if bills are allowed to do so, since it “supports financial system stability”.

Kofo Salam-Alada , who represented Godwin Emefiele, CBN Governor said his boss would have loved to be at the public hearing because of the importance of the bill, but the event coincided with the Committee of Governors meeting.

He commended the Senate committee for its “complete understanding of issues in the banking sector and the financial sector in general”.

The Nigerian Financial and Intelligence Unit (NFIU) representative, Kingsley Amanko said the NFIU sees the NDIC as a crucial, institutional and regulatory ambit that is indispensable the fight to ensure the safety and reliability of the Nigerian financial system, thus a desirable partner and a collaborator.

“The NFIU is a central national agency responsible for the receiving of financial disclosures from reporting entities, analyses these disclosures and produce intelligent reports for dissemination to competent authorities.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) equally supported bill, but observed that “section 71 (3) takes away the discretionary powered of the court to award general damages and said the court can only award special damages”, adding “this is not fair”.

Chile Okoroma, Director Legal and Prosecution in the anti graft agency, who represented the Executive Chairman, Abdulraheed Bawa also observed that section 73 (1), which also takes away the “inherent power of the court to decide whether to grant a stay of any proceedings commenced with relation to insured institutions which have been taken over before the corporation takes proper responsibility of liquidation”. This he said erodes the discretionary powers of the court and should be looked at again.

Other stakeholders that supported the bill include National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Trade Union Congress (TUC), Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN), Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) and National Association of Micro Finance Banks (NAMFB).

The Managing Director of NDIC, Hassan Bello while welcoming the amendment to the NDIC Act said the law came into force in 1988 and was only amended in 2006.

He expressed appreciation to all the stakeholders for the support, adding that the current amendment will go a long way in protecting depositors’ money.

Chairman Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Instructions, Senator Uba Sani, who also sponsored the amendment bill equally expressed happiness about how the proceedings went at the public hearing.

The Kaduna central senator and gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the state expressed the confidence that the input from the stakeholders will enrich their report to the Senate plenary and eventual passage of the bill.