The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) on Thursday expressed commitment to reduce the percentage of Nigerians that do not have access to financial services from 46.3 per cent to 20 per cent by 2020.
Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim, the Managing Director, NDIC said this at the ongoing Lagos International Trade Fair (LITF) in Lagos.
Represented by Mr Asunmon Bello, the Director, Claims Resolution Department of the Commission, Ibrahim said that NDIC had doubled its efforts by providing an enabling regulatory and supervisory environment to ensure that the savings of small savers were protected.
According to him, it is vital to financial inclusion that the poor people need the assurance that the licensed deposit taking institutions are safe and that they will have access to their money when needed.
The managing director said that the corporation’s continuous monitoring and the oversight function of banks not only enhance depositor confidence in the financial sector, but served as incentive to the unbanked to access financial services of banks.
He urged members of the public to take advantage of the several incentives available to Nigerians to save and have access to financial services.
On non-banking Nigerians, Ibrahim noted that the requirements to open a bank account were easy to meet.
“Banking enables a depositor to save and enjoy services such as ATM transactions, mobile banking and mobile money products.
“The depositor is also guaranteed his/her savings in the event of bank failure up to the maximum account balance of N500,000 in a commercial/merchant/mortgage bank and N200,000 in a Microfinance Bank,’’ Ibrahim said.
The managing director warned members of the public against patronising “wonder banks’’ as they stand the risk of losing their savings.
He also frowned at the emerging trend of investing in digital currencies popularly known as Bitcoins.
“Just like the “wonder banks,’’ the digital currencies are not licensed by the CBN and therefore not insured by the NDIC,’’ Ibrahim said.
Earlier, Mrs Nike Akande, the President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) commended the efforts of NDIC on their supervisory and regulatory functions in the financial sector.
Represented by Mr Paul Ruwase, the Deputy President, LCCI Akande noted that Nigerian banks were safer and secured through the commitment of NDIC.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 31st edition of the fair is being attended by more than 15 countries and about 1,000 local and international exhibitors.