The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has revealed that Covid-19 pandemic disruptive impacts did not affect the operations of the Corporation.
The NDIC Chief Executive and Managing Director, Umaru Ibrahim, disclosed this while delivering a keynote address at the opening session of 2020 workshop for Business Editors and Finance Correspondents taking place in Lagos.
The theme of the workshop organised by the NDIC is “COVID-19 and Fintech disruption: Opportunities and challenges for banking system stability and deposit insurance.”
According to the Managing Director who delivered his address virtually, “As disruptive as the COVID-19 has been to other sectors of the country, I would like to humbly state that the NDIC was not caught napping.
“Based on its robust and proactive Enterprise Risk Management strategy, the Corporation immediately swung into action by activating its Crisis Management Action Plan to prevent any negative impact on the operations of the NDIC and the financial institutions under its supervision.
“The goal is to ensure the safety and protection of all staff and stakeholders to maintain continuity of its operations towards protecting depositors funds and ensuring the stability of the banking sector.
“In recognition of the heightened fears of depositors lack of access to their money due to the COVID-19 disruptions, the Corporation embarked on a nationwide public awareness campaign through the production and broadcast of radio and television jingles in the three major languages and pidgin, to enlighten depositors on the continued safety and security of their funds in licensed financial institutions.
“The campaign with a total of 1,271 radio slots and television jingles carried out across the six (6) geo-political zones, became imperative to ward-off the panic and the threat of bank run amidst the full lockdown.”
Further, Ibrahim enumerated that the Corporation also hosted a series of webinars to critically examine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Corporations activities as well as to enhance the capacity of staff to address the challenges.
These included The Impact of Covid-19 On Effective Corporate Communication and Public Awareness in the NDIC, The Impact of COVID-19 on the Banking System with a Special Focus on Non-Interest Financial Institutions (NIFIs) and Sustainable Banking Principles and Guidelines: the NDIC Journey among others.
However, he submitted that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant disruptions to social and economic activities had negative consequences on all lives and nations across the world.
He cited that the threat of recession, increased national debt, increase in non-performing loans and potential financial crisis has put pressure on regulators to reassess their supervisory activities to strengthen their capabilities to address these challenges and forestall financial crisis.
He said: “The emergence of digital financial services enabled by financial technology (Fintech) has enhanced efficiency in the financial sector but has also posed new challenges to financial regulators and consumers.
“This became more apparent during the pandemic when the lockdown protocols hindered physical access to financial services, encouraging more Nigerians to rely on digital financial services.
“Inevitably, the media was also adversely impacted by the pandemic. Our attempts to tackle the erosion of public confidence due to the prevalence of fake news, particularly via social media, became a matter of serious concern.”
The NDIC Managing Director maintained that the issues confronting the world today are indeed monumental and unprecedented but not insurmountable.
“The critical role of the media is central in shaping public perception and promoting financial stability through the reportage of the NDICs role of depositor protection.
“This is the motivation behind the specific selection of topics that will be presented throughout the workshop. They will examine the risks and opportunities the COVID-19 pandemic poses to the financial system and deposit insurers, the appropriate regulatory response to Microfinance Banks and Primary Mortgage Banks, Risk Management Strategies in the Banking Industry, Challenges of Consumer Protection and most importantly, the Role of the Media in Promoting Financial Stability in the COVID-19 era”, he said.