Beware of Wonder Banks, NDIC Warns Nigerians

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Ugo Aliogo

As promoters of wonder banks and other ponzi schemes in the country continue to lure members of the public to mouthwatering offers, the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has warned members of the public not to patronise such investment schemes.

The MMM investment scheme is one of the Ponzi schemes in the country.
Also, in line with the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) which is aimed at reducing the percentage of adult Nigerians lacking access to formal banking services from 46.3 percent in 2010 to 20 percent in 2020; the NDIC has expressed its desire to play a crucial role in ensuring that small savers are protected.

Speaking at the special day event of NDIC at the ongoing Lagos International Trade Fair with the theme: ‘Positioning the Nigeria Economy for Diversification and Sustainable Growth,’ the Managing Director of the NDIC, Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim said: “I wish to sound a word of advice caution to members of the public on the activities of illegal funds managers, otherwise known as ‘wonder banks’.

“It is worrisome to note that despite repeated advice, many unsuspecting members of the public are still falling victims to the mouth watering interest being offered by these illegal fund managers. For the avoidance of doubt, these illegal funds managers or ‘wonders banks’ are neither licensed by the CBN nor under the NDIC deposit insurance coverage. Members of the public are therefore advised to patronise only banking institutions that display the NDIC sticker: ‘Insured by NDIC’ in their banking halls or entrances.”

Commenting further on its financial inclusion initiatives, the NDIC boss noted that the corporation has also partnered the National Universities of Commission (NUC) to introduce a pilot scheme on two courses on the Deposit Insurance (DIS) in seven selected universities in the country.

Ibrahim explained that in furtherance of the aforementioned public awareness strategies, the corporation recognises the importance of participating in the Lagos international trade fair, adding that the fair provides a platform for the corporation to interact with depositors and other stakeholders.

“The corporation has published various books which include, the financial literacy in Nigeria: A study Report’, Perspectives on the Nigeria Financial Safety-net” under the NDIC’s catch them young initiative, the corporation initiated the publication of two books titled: “This little piggy” for primary schools and “The Money Tree” for secondary schools.”

Ibrahim who was represented by the Deputy Director Claims Resolution, Mr. Asumo Bello, stated that following the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) licensing of non-interest banking institution (NIBIs) and the 21 mobile money operators (MMOs), the corporation equally extended deposit insurance coverage to subscribers of these banking products to the maximum limit of N500,00 per depositor.

He added that the corporation has developed frameworks of Pass-Through Deposit Insurance Scheme (PTDIS) and Non Interest Deposit Insurance Scheme (NIDIS) to the MMOs and non interest “bank subscribers respectively with a maximum insured limit of N500.000 per subscriber.”

Ibrahim further stated: “The maximum deposit insurance coverage (MDIC) per depositor per bank has progressively increased from N50,000 in 1989 to its current N500,000 per depositor per DMB. Similarly, the insured limit for the Microfinance Banks (MFBs) and primary Mortgage Banks (PMBs) in 2009 was increased from N100,000 to N200,000 per depositor per MFB/PMB in 2010.

“However, on August 4, the Hon. Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, approved an upward review of the deposit to ensure insured limit for depositors of PMBs to N500, 000 in order to ensure coverage of over 90 percent of depositors in the banking sub sector.”