Nigerian Banks Are Healthy, NDIC Assures

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From Saka Bolaji, Minna

CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele
CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele

The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has disclosed that all banks operating in the country are healthy and are in line with global standard.
Addressing reporters during a sensitisation of Corps members at the 2015 Batch ‘A Stream II’, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) orientation camp, Paiko in Niger state, Deputy Director, Research (NDIC), Hashim Ahmad, said the “Corporation undertakes proper supervision of the banks in the country as insurer to ensure they remain healthy.”
According to Ahmad, “Nigerian Banks are relatively healthy in line with global standards. We don’t normally announce the healthy status of our banks in the public, but we normally say in aggregate and I think our annual report will soon be released and be made available to the public”.
“The annual report normally summarises the health status of the industry. We don’t particularly say Bank A or B is distressed. We are simply saying that on aggregate basis we will tell you the industry is this or that.
“We undertake supervision of the banks as insurer as you know, no insurer will sit back and allow his risk to crystalize before he wakes up. We are embarking on the supervision of Banks to ensure they remain safe and sound.
He also disclosed that the NDIC undertakes the stress resolution of banks adding that “any bank that is identified as distressed or in difficulty is normally turned over to NDIC for management. And so, we manage the bank until such a time that it is deemed to be fit or safe and sound.
“In the cause of doing that we take-over the management and control of the Bank. We can go to that extent. We manage the bank until such a time we think it is able to stand on its feet and then we hand it back to its owners.”
Ahmad said “NDIC as the sole liquidator of banks in Nigeria undertakes liquidation when all other avenue to resuscitate the purchase of the bank fails”.
Accordingly, he said “the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will then revoke the licence and hand the bank over to NDIC for liquidation widening off of the affairs of the Bank.”
On how soon Savannah Bank would return to the banking sector, Ahmad said: “We expect the bank to bounce back soonest because it has been handed over to the owners. At our own end (NDIC), we can only act and exercise our own mandate when a licence is revoked by the CBN.
It would be recalled that Savannah Bank’s licence was revoked in 2002 and the bank dragged the regulator (CBN) to court, where it got an injunction to restore its licence.
Ahmad said “as Savannah Bank stands, the licence has been restored by the CBN and there is nothing NDIC can do in terms of paying off depositors, since their licence is back to them. And we can’t go and pay anybody.”

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