The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, (NDIC), has called for the establishment of a national Microfinance Institute in the country to enhance continuous capacity building in the banking sector.
The corporation also stressed its support for the incorporation of an All Women Microfinance Bank wholly owned by women NGOs in the country, to protect the interest of small depositors and boost public confidence in the microfinance banking subsector.
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of NDIC, Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim, made the call when he played host to the executive of the National Association of Microfinance Banks (NAMB), who paid him a courtesy visit.
A statement from NDIC signed by Hadi Birchi, Head Communication and Public Affairs, quoted the NDIC boss as saying that the NAMB request for Unit MFBs to have multiple branches and operate cash centres in local government areas of their operations was receiving consideration.
Umaru reminded the association on the fundamental role of MFBs as grassroots business units toward enhancing financial literacy and consumer protection in promoting financial inclusion.
He also emphasized that only happy and satisfied depositors could guarantee the much needed public confidence in the banking system, saying that NDIC had put in place 24 hour toll free Help Desk to respond to all enquiries from depositors across the country.
He lamented the low level of payment of assessed premium amongst the MFBs which necessitated the need for tripartite agreement between the Corporation, MFBs and their correspondent banks to facilitate prompt collection of premium in the subsector, while he advised MFBs to avoid the extreme situation that would warrant the withdrawal of NDIC insurance cover on erring MFBs.
Such a move, he said, would not augur well for the advocacy of financial inclusion and development of the subsector.
According to him, the purpose for which the corporation set aside N16 billion intervention fund to rescue technically solvent MFBs and PMBs was based on defined criteria instead of the wrong impression that it was meant as a form of financial stability fund for MFBs.