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Market Digest Nigeria

Finance

CBN revokes license of 42 Microfinance Banks

The Central Bank of Nigeria has revoked the licenses of 42 microfinance banks in the country and has subsequently closed them.

The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) while disclosing this in a statement yesterday said it will promptly commence the verification of claims of depositors of the affected banks from tomorrow Monday, December 21, 2020.

Following the announcement of liquidation, there is palpable apprehension among many depositors, prompting the desire for urgent panic withdrawals for fear of losing their deposits.

But the NDIC allayed such fears by saying it had begun the process of paying insured depositors of the liquidated banks across the country.

The affected banks include Hedgeworth MFB, Utako, Abuja;    Future Growth MFB, Utako, Abuja;  Bagwai MFB, Bagwai LGA, Kano; Ere City MFB, Oriade LGA, Osun State; Cafon MFB, Garki II, Abuja; Akcofed MFB,       Uyo, Akwa-Ibom State;  Gufax MFB,           Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Partnership  MFB,      Onitsha, Anambra State;  ICB MFB, Ilah, Delta State;  Onima MFB, Ezinihite Mbaise LGA, Imo State; and Hometrust (NATIONS) MFB, Nkwere, Imo State.

Others are Ringim MFB, Ringim,  Jigawa State; Bigthana MFB, Ali Akilu Road,  Kaduna;  Rogo MFB, Rogo LGA, Kano State;  Makoda MFB, Makoda LGA, Kano; Takai MFB, Takai LGA, Kano State; Bebeji MFB, Bebeji  L.G.A., Kano State;  Ajingi MFB, Ajingi LGA, Kano State; Garko MFB,  Garko, Kano; Kangiwa MFB, Kangiwa LGA, Kebbi State; Augie MFB, Augie LGA, Kebbi State;  Mopa  MFB, Mopa, Kogi State; Solid Base MFB, Ijumu  LGA, Kogi State; Ultimate Benefit MFB, Lokoja, Kogi State; Ovidi MFB,  Okene, Kogi State; Kirfi MFB, Kirfi LGA, Bauchi; Credit  Express MFB, Kakawa Street, Lagos; King Solomon MFB, Western Avenue, Iponri, Lagos; Riggs MFB, Victoria Island, Lagos; Billionaire Blue Bricks MFB, Ajah, Lagos; Susu MFB, Yaba, Lagos; Wealthstream MFB, Apapa,  Lagos; Aguda Titun MFB, Ogba, Lagos and Sapphire MFB, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

Also on the list are Metro  MFB,    Ogba, Ikeja, Lagos, Mountain Top MFB, Trade Fair Complex, Lagos; Unyogba MFB, Ofu LGA, Kogi State; Wapo MFB, Okene, Kogi State; Ibogun MFB, Ifo LGA, Ogun State;  Korede MFB, Igbotako, Ondo State;  Ahetou  MFB, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni LGA, Rivers State and Fufore MFB, Yola, Adamawa State.

The NDIC statement said, “This is to inform the depositors, creditors, shareholders and the general public that the operating licences of the under listed 42 Microfinance Banks (MFBs) have been revoked by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) effective from 12th of November, 2020.

“The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), the official liquidator of the banks whose licences were recently revoked, is in the process of closing the listed banks and paying their insured depositors.

“We therefore request that all depositors of these banks should visit the closed banks’ addresses and meet NDIC officials for the verification of their claims, commencing from Monday, 21st December, 2020 till Thursday, 24th December, 2020.”

The statement added that for further clarification or any assistance, eligible depositors should contact the representatives of the director, Claims Resolution Department of the NDIC in any of the centres/zonal offices in Abuja, Lagos, Enugu, Benin, Kano, Ilorin, Bauchi, Sokoto, Yola and Port Harcourt.

Earlier, the NDIC had stated that a limited understanding and widespread misconception of the Deposit Insurance System (DIS) in Nigeria was largely responsible for the pool of unclaimed deposits following bank closures.

According to the executive director (Corporate Services) of NDIC, Mrs. Omolola Abiola-Edewor, the situation is a global challenge to the deposit insurance system. She was delivering a keynote address at the opening ceremony of the 2020 sensitization seminar for judges of the Federal High Court in Abuja with the theme: ‘The Challenges to Deposit Insurance Law and Practice in Nigeria.’

Abiola- Edewor noted that the phenomenon had informed the concerted efforts by NDIC to continuously collaborate with the judiciary and other stakeholders in promoting sound knowledge and understanding of the deposit insurance system over the years.

She said the NDIC would continue to jealously guard the relationship with the Judiciary. She added that the current economic situation occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic had further underscored the need to strengthen the collaboration towards enhancing the stability of the financial system.

While describing judgments against the corporation for liabilities of failed banks under liquidation as another challenge confronting it, she noted that effective resolution of legal issues affecting the administration of the deposit insurance system was critical to the enhancement of safety and soundness of the banking system.

She said the corporation would be looking forward to drawing from the rich knowledge and experience of the Federal High Court judges on ways of addressing these challenges.

The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice John Tsoho, noted that the seminar had gone a long way in broadening the knowledge of judges, not only in deposit insurance law and practice, but also in the workings and operations of the financial system. He assured that this had enhanced the discharge of the judges’ duties in the last nine years that the seminar was initiated.

The Administrator of the National Judicial Institute (NJI), Justice Rosaline Bozimo, in her goodwill message, stated that the seminar was aimed at consolidating on the gains of the NJI and NDIC in exposing judges to best practices in deposit insurance law in particular and the financial system in general. She was represented by the Director of Research, Mr. Gbenga Omotesho.

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