For the umpteenth time, the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation has warned the public about patronising Ponzi schemes and other financial institutions that bait them with unrealistic mouth-watering offers but are not licensed by the Corporation.
Speaking at its Special Day held at 16th Abuja International Trade Fair on Tuesday, the NDIC Managing Director, Bello Hassan said people who deposit their monies in insured banks and financial institutions can get a refund when the banks liquidate, while those who put their monies in banks that are not covered by the Corporation risk losing all they invested into them.
Hassan further debunked the erroneous belief held among Nigerians that when a bank goes down customers only get N50,000 from their money regardless of the amount they had in that bank.
He said the misinformation began in the 1980s when N50,000 was the maximum initial sum paid to people who had their money in a liquidated bank. He explained that the Corporation has since reviewed the amount over the years, adding that the current initial maximum sum paid to people whose monies are trapped in a bank with insurance cover that collapses is N500,000 and N200,000 for depositors of Microfinance banks.
The NDIC MD, who was represented by the Head of Public Affairs, Mr Bashir Nuhu said, “I would also like to serve a word of caution against patronising unscrupulous services of Ponzi schemes and illegal fund managers, otherwise called “wonder banks”/ who masquerade as deposit-taking institutions to dupe unsuspecting members of the public of their hard-earned funds. They offer unrealistically high returns to lure their “victims” only to bolt away with their money. “These entities are not licensed by the CBN as deposit-taking institutions and are therefore not covered by the deposit insurance.
He said the Corporation as a policy, has been involved in major trade fairs across the country as an avenue to engage with depositors, stakeholders and the general public to address their concerns and enquiries.
“We engage in all the major trade fairs across the nation, not to market goods, but to market our services. We inculcate banking habits, financial inclusion and inform the public about the dangers of not taking their money to the bank. We have developed an app to enable depositors to fill in their claims when their money is trapped in a bank and apply for their money.
Also speaking, Vice President of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Chairman of Abuja Trade Centre, Dr Johnson Anene said the essence of the trade fair was to promote business relationships between exhibitors and visitors.
He called on the Bank of Industry and other financial institutions to relax their conditions for exhibitors to get easier access to credit for their businesses.
“When the proposal for the International Trade Fair was submitted to Nigeria, we were very sceptical about it because we didn’t want to make Nigeria a dumping ground for products. However, we realised that the only way Nigeria can become a dumping ground is if it is not producing. We, therefore, appeal to the Bank of Industry and other financial institutions to relax their conditions so that exhibitors can have access to funds and also engage in manufacturing. It is not enough that you publicise that you have disbursed billions and billions of naira. The question is how many businesses have benefited? Most of our members do not have lands that you requested as collateral but we are willing to stand for them as guarantors so that they can get these loans”, he explained.