By Anthony Nwachukwu
Through the deposit insurance coverage to depositors of licensed banks, the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) said it plays a critical role in contributing to the objectives of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS).
Through such supervisory activities on banks, the NDIC not only enhances depositors’ confidence in the financial system but also serves as incentive to the unbanked to access financial services of the licensed banks.
Similarly, as a member of the National Financial Inclusion Governance Committee headed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), it has also been at the forefront of implementing the NFIS in Nigeria, while helping the nation to attain financial inclusion targets.
The corporation spoke ahead the maiden International Financial Inclusion Conference 2022 to be hosted by the National Financial Inclusion Governance Committee, with the theme, “Financial Inclusion for all: Scaling Innovative Digital Models,” billed for November 24 and 25 in Abuja.
In a statement by the Director, Communication & Public Affairs Department, Bashir A. Nuhu, NDIC noted that the conference would be the first since the launch of the NFIS in 2012, adding that the NFIS targeted reducing the percentage of adult Nigerians that do not have access to financial services from 46.3 per cent in 2010 to 20.0 per cent in 2020.
“Since the launch of the NFIS, stakeholders have achieved great strides in achieving financial inclusion objectives, which has resulted in the exclusion rate dropping from 46.3 per cent in 2010 to 35.9 per cent in 2020.
“The corporation has contributed significantly to the nation’s financial inclusion objectives through provision of deposit protection to all licensed deposit-taking institutions via its deposit insurance.
“It is important to note that quite a number of the financially excluded individuals failed to join the formal financial system due to fear of possible loss of their savings from bank failure which the deposit insurance of the NDIC addresses.
It listed the other areas of its support for financial inclusion to include: Supervision and failure resolution of licensed deposit-taking institutions, thereby engendering public confidence;
Enforcement of regulatory policies, entrenching enhanced risk management practices to improve financial stability through differential-premium assessment system (DPAS) and monitoring of fraud in the banking system, thereby supporting financial inclusion;
Financial literacy, which is critical in accelerating financial inclusion. Apart from being a member of the Financial Literacy Steering Committee (FLSC) and Financial Literacy Implementation Committee (FLIC), NDIC has also undertaken financial literacy education through press briefings, advertorials, jingles on radio and television, participation in trade fairs and exhibitions as well as participation in the World Savings Day, among others, to promote public confidence;
In recognition of the role of electronic and mobile money as a critical tool for financial inclusion, the corporation extends deposit guarantee to subscribers of mobile money through its Pass-Through Deposit Insurance;
The NDIC also promotes competition among deposit-taking institutions, which is important in driving financial inclusion as smaller institutions like MFBs, PSBs, MMOs, with no brand visibility that are closer to the unserved/underserved can compete favourably with the larger banks by virtue of the deposit protection offered by the NDIC, which makes the depositors feel safe and protected;
Furthermore, the corporation has developed a Single Customer View (SCV) platform to eliminate delay in reimbursing depositors of failed deposit-taking institutions, upon revocation of their license by the CBN.
Presently, the financial sector has experienced rapid expansion and diversity of financial services and products deployed within the Fintech ecosystem, the statement added.
Accordingly, this presents significant opportunities to further fast track the expansion of financial inclusion to a greater number of Nigerians by giving them access to financial services that would address their needs and enhance their quality of life.
The conference presents a unique opportunity to showcase advancements in financial inclusion in Nigeria, spotlight other jurisdictional experiences, and will serve as a platform for policymakers, financial institutions and other stakeholders to engage on contemporary issues such as innovation, digital technology and the role of collaboration in achieving financial inclusion for all Nigerians, NDIC stated.