By Bashir Ibrahim Hassan
It was a momentous occasion, the type one remembers for a long time. It was like a graduation ceremony, with the best overall student seated and beaming with satisfaction. The day before this event, it was only him and very few others knew he had been adjudged the best overall student. Today, however, the whole world has come to witness his coronation.
The day was Monday, May 21, 2018, when the world came to know for sure that the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) under the leadership of its Managing Director and CEO Malam Umaru Ibrahim was presented with three certifications from British Standards Institution (BSI), namely: Information Security Management System ISO/IEC 27001:2013, IT Service Management System ISO/IEC 20000-1:2011 and Business Continuity Management System, ISO 22301:2012. NDIC was handed over the prestigious awards on behalf of the BSI by the British High Commissioner to Nigeria.
The journey to this historic occasion started between April and July last year when NDIC systems were subjected to rigorous assessment by BSI for the relevant global standards certifications. As a result of the BSI examinations, NDIC has made history as the first public institution in Nigeria to win the three certifications at one time.
The ISO certification is an international standard that helps organizations demonstrate excellence both in its operations and also its compliance with international best practices in achieving its mandate. The MD/CEO of the Corporation used the award ceremony to reveal the objectives of implementing the certification project. According to him it is to ensure that the Corporation adopts best practices that will ensure achievement of its vision of being “the best Deposit Insurer in the World by 2020’.”.
By these achievements, the Corporation is poised to enhance the level of its operational readiness to deliver on its core mandate, while continuously improving on the service delivery to meet the expectations of its stakeholders through sound information security, efficient IT management system and a robust business continuity system. The Corporation also strives towards improved information deliverables, availability and efficient services, effective communication as well as sound internal processes to engender public confidence in the banking system which would deepen financial system stability.
Dignitaries at the award ceremony were visibly elated and proud to be associated with the Corporation. To SERVICOM boss, Mrs. Nnenna Akajameli, who graced the event held at the board room of the Corporation, NDIC is a model among public institutions worthy of emulation and projecting throughout the country. On her part, Minister of Finance Kemi Adeosun, who was represented by Director Home Finance, Mrs. Olubunmi Siyanbola, urged the NDIC to view the achievements as a spur towards achieving even greater heights.
The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, who was represented by the Lead Trade Adviser for Education Sector Opportunities, Ms. Natasha Anjekwu, remarked that the achievement of the Corporation was simply great!
While there is public perception that some public institutions in Nigeria are underperforming in the face of exorbitant political promises, the authorities of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) are beating their chest on their monumental accomplishments. For instance, 1n 2017, the Corporation had a spectacular outing.
At macro level of the banking sector, depositors, of especially liquidated banks, will remember 2017 as the year of the highest, across board, liquidation dividend payouts by NDIC. In one instance, in 2017, the Corporation paid out a whopping N13.6 billion to depositors of six liquidated banks.
The amount quoted above covers depositors of six deposit money banks (DMBS), namely: African Express Bank, All States Trust Bank, City Express Bank, Hallmark Bank, Lead Bank and Metropolitan Bank.
Payment of N149.90 million as second liquidation dividend to shareholders of Rims Merchant Bank was also made last year. Similarly, payment of cumulative sums of over N105 billion to over 442,651 depositors of closed DMBs and N2.88 billion to over 525,009 depositors of closed microfinance banks (MFBS) were made. Depositors of closed primary mortgage banks (PMBs) were paid N60 million as at September 2017.
The relentless NDIC also commenced of verification and payment of N38.90 insured sum to depositors of Jubilee Building Society Limited and N73.90 to depositors of New Heights microfinance bank in 2017. The process of verification and eventual payment of liquidation dividend payment is not always easy. It is an exercise sometimes entangled in long, complicated and — if you like annoying — legal tussles. Therefore NDIC had cause to celebrate the judgement against First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) Plc. in favour of depositors of Lead Merchant Bank Limited (in-liquidation) to the tune of N556.40 million at a Lagos High Court presided over by Honourable Justice Ibrahim N. Buba in 2017.
Always alive to its mandates, the corporation strives to achieve them as much as possible. For example, as part of its oversight function, the NDIC continues to, in joint exercise with Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), undertook risk assessment examination of all our 25 banks in 2017. In the same period the NDIC also carried out maiden examinations on Coronation Merchant Bank and Suntrust Bank,
To crown it all, the Corporation has deployed robust information technology (IT) to drive its processes, investing massively in capacity building initiatives. 53 staff have been trained and certified on the three standards including the setting up of a world class training academy and the adoption of a Continuous Performance Improvement System to track and measure performance at all levels. In its continuous pursuit for excellence, the Corporation’s academy was recently accredited also as a training service provider for the banking industry by the Council of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN).
No doubt, these impressive performances of the Corporation are not unconnected with its desire to enhance the level of operational readiness to deliver on its core mandate as well as continuously improve on the delivery of processes and services to its stakeholders through greater information security, efficient IT management system and a robust business continuity system.
If these initiatives are ambitious, they underline the level of commitment of the leadership of the NDIC, whose goal is to be “the best deposit insurer in the world by 2020” is not debatable.
Hassan is a financial analyst based in Abuja