By Tony Obiechina, Abuja
The Managing Director of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Mr. Umaru Ibrahim has commended the media for relentlessly reporting the role the corporation is playing to safeguard deposited funds and ensure financial stability.
Speaking at a 3-day workshop organised by the NDIC for Business Editors and Correspondents in Lagos on Monday, the MD/CEO said, he was proud of the Media’s commitment and dedication, “as well as your invaluable contributions over the years”.
He said, “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”.
According to him, “this is the motivation behind the specific selection of topics that will be presented throughout the workshop with the theme: “COVID-19 and Fintech Disruption: Opportunities & Challenges for Banking System & Deposit Insurance”.
Ibrahim disclosed that topics to be examined at the workshop, included, 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.
According to him, the workshop has been designed to be interactive and engaging to foster a better understanding and developing proactive measures to address the emerging issues.
The MD/CEO observed that the annual FICAN workshop which began 14 years ago, has transformed into a veritable human capital development platform, stressing that it “provides a unique avenue to critically analyse emerging issues, engage with critical stakeholders, and most importantly enhance and update the knowledge of financial journalists on current trends in the financial system”.
“Ultimately, the FICAN workshop continues to serve as a tool to enhance the quality of reportage especially in addressing misconceptions about the mandate and activities of the Corporation in promoting financial system stability”, he added.
Ibrahim noted that the theme was carefully chosen to critically analyse the risks, implications and opportunities posed by the Covid19 pandemic on the Nigerian banking sector and the global financial landscape as a whole.
He said, “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.
“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.
“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.
“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”.