Board Chairman accuses ‘CBN cabals’ of doctoring new NDIC Act, risking depositors funds

THE new chairperson of the governing board of the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Abdulhakeem Abdullateef, has raised concerns that elements he called “cabals” at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) have doctored the new NDIC Act.

Abdullateef noted that the impact of the doctored report could expose depositors funds to uncertainties.

He faulted several sections of the new Act, stating that it gave the apex bank arbitrariness to perpetrate corruption.

In an online viral video obtained by The ICIR, the NDIC board chairman alleged that several aspects of the new Act were doctored and were different from the resolutions that the National Assembly passed.

“According to the resolutions in the National Assembly, the board representation must come from the six geopoliitical zones to enable it discharge its duties. It also gave the President a free hand to appoint Nigerians competent of becoming NDIC Managing Director.

“What they have done with the new Act is that they have tied the hands of the President and said only someone recommended by the CBN governor alone can be made the Executive Director,” he said.

He maintained that in the old Act, the President had the authority to appoint any competent Nigerian to superintendent over the affairs of the NDIC, while in the new Act, that is not the case.

Abdullateef said that the six geopolitical zones were not represented in the new Act as was the case in the old document, saying that the “cabals” removed that part from the new Act.

“There are other distortions in the new Act. They have now removed the representation from the six geopolitical zones and made the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance who doesn’t have time to be chairman of the board.

“Even when I visited the permanent secretary, he told me that he had told them not to make him the chairman of the board because he had thousands of things to attend to on his desk, alongside meetings with various commissioners of Finance,” he said.

The board chairman feared that the new Act has further destroyed the career progression of over 1,600 workers in NDIC.

“What they have done here is that no director in NDIC can ever progress to become an Executive Director. This is because they inserted in the law that only the Central Bank has the right to appoint an Executive Director.

“The NDIC is an independent body from the CBN; the CBN should be in charge of their own Executive Directors,” he said.




     

     

    Abdullateef was appointed on May 17 by former President Muhammadu Buhari to serve as the chairman of the board of NDIC following the confirmation of the board members by the senate.

    Buhari, on 26 May, signed the NDIC (repeal and reenactment) bill of 2023 into law, repealing the NDIC Act of 2006. The new Act, among other things, provides that only the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Finance can chair the governing board of the NDIC.

    Abdullateef said the “cabals” deliberately waited till about two days to the end of Buhari’s tenure before presenting him the NDIC bill passed by the National Assembly to sign into law.

    At that moment, he said, Buhari could not have had the concentration and time to study the document as he should.

    Harrison Edeh is a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, always determined to drive advocacy for good governance through holding public officials and businesses accountable.

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