Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim: The Abusite Protecting Our Money in Nigerian Banks

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Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim, mni, is a full-fledged distinguished Abusite and financial manager who is currently the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation [NDIC]

He was born in the City of Karaye, Kano State. He graduated from the famous Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in 1974. Three years later, in 1977, he added a Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) to his academic laurels from the same University. In 2001, still in the quest for further knowledge, he attended the prestigious National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru where he graduated in November of the same year.

L-R: NDIC MD/CEO, Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim, receiving an award from the President, Institute of Directors (IOD) Governing Council, Alhaji Ahmed Rufai
L-R: NDIC MD/CEO, Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim, receiving an award from the President, Institute of Directors (IOD) Governing Council, Alhaji Ahmed Rufai, during a courtesy call to the NDIC Management at the Corporation’s Head Office, Abuja

Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim has had an enviable work experience since he joined the Kano State Public Service in 1975 after a compulsory one-year National Service.

From a relatively junior position of an Administrative Officer in the Cabinet Office of the Kano State Government, he rose to the post of Permanent Secretary within a period of ten years due to hard and diligent work. He served in several Ministries and Departments until 1989 when he joined the NDIC.

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He joined the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation in May 1989 as a Deputy Director and a Departmental Head in charge of Financial and Technical Support, one of the key operational departments of the Corporation then and became a full Director in charge of the Administration Department of the Corporation in 1991

Between 1992 and 2007, Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim headed several other departments amongst which were the Human Resource and Corporate Development Departments.

Between September, 1995 and September, 1996, he was appointed an Executive Director (Finance and Administration) in the defunct First African Trust Bank and was involved in the restructuring and sale of the bank.

In August 2007, Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim was appointed the Executive Director of the Corporation in charge of Corporate Services. His responsibilities included the General Administration, Human Resource Management, Information Technology, and Finance functions.

In December 2009, he was appointed the Acting Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation following the expiration of the term of the erstwhile MD/CEO. He was appointed Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer on the 8th of December, 2010.

Over the years, he has attended several technical and management courses from some prestigious institutions both at the national and international levels. Amongst the main ones are the ESSEC Graduate Business School, France, Templeton College of Oxford University, U.K. and International Centre for Banking and Financial Services, Manchester University.

Others include the Royal Institute of Public Administration, London; International Institute for Management Development (IMD), Lausanne, Switzerland; INSEAD France, ROSS School of Business, University of Michigan USA, University of Cranfield UK and the highly prestigious National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies.

Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim is a member of several professional bodies. Some of these bodies and his membership are:

  • Fellow, Nigerian Institute of Management (2006)
  • Member, Chartered Institute of Personnel Management (CIPM) since 1976
  • Member, Alumni Association of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) 2001.

Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim’s Successes at NDIC

Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim, managing director/CEO, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation [NDIC], is in charge of the key function of protecting depositors in the banking sector and preserving public confidence in order to ensure financial system stability in Nigeria.

Beyond paying depositors of failed banks, NDIC’s mandate has extended to risk assessment functions and financial distress resolution.

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Having been on the saddle since 2010, Ibrahim has continued to reshape the corporation in response to rapid changes in the banking industry and the payments system. The NDIC’s boss has continued to spread the deposit insurance umbrella as rapidly as the dynamism and innovation in financial services have continued to evolve.

Having firmly incorporated mortgage banks, microfinance banks and non-interest banks under deposit insurance cover, NDIC has responded further to the emergence of mobile payment services.

At the introduction of non-interest banking in Nigeria, the corporation provided a framework that extended deposit insurance scheme to customers of non-interest banking institutions with a ceiling of up to N500, 000 per depositor.

It has extended deposit insurance cover to subscribers of the mobile money operators by creating the Pass-Through Deposit Insurance Scheme up to the maximum limit of N500, 000 per depositor – the same ceiling applicable to depositors in deposit money banks.

This means that payments made through electronic devices such as mobile phones as a virtual bank card, point of sale terminal, Automated Teller Machine, laptops and other portable computers for internet banking services now have valid insurance coverage of NDIC.

This is considered a strategic response, not only recognizing but equally stimulating the development of e-payments by offering protection to users of the facilities, thereby fostering public confidence. NDIC’s quick response reflects its due recognition of mobile phones as an attractive way to promote financial inclusion given their extensive reach to the masses.

To Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim, mobile phones are the single most transformative solution for economic development by providing access to capital and information to the unbanked public at low cost.

Deposit insurance, he said, advances financial inclusion because the poor need assurance that their deposits are safe and accessible any time. The assurance helps in attracting the unbanked to formal banking services, he said.

These and other initiatives of the corporation are driving the national goal of financial inclusion aimed at reducing the percentage of adult Nigerians without access to financial services from over 46% in 2010 to 20% by 2020.

Some of the other initiatives of the corporation in this direction include public education campaigns through handbills imparting knowledge of banking and deposit insurance to the public. Its yardstick for success is the extent it is able to satisfy the largest possible number of small depositors.

Some of the publications have been provided in three major Nigerian languages in the effort to inculcate banking habits and financial management skills among Nigerians. According to Ibrahim, the aim is to attract the unbanked and further reinforce banking system stability while guaranteeing deposits in different types of banks.

Under Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim’s leadership, the corporation has elevated deposit insurance service to the point of introducing its syllabus in the universities. Two deposit insurance courses introduced by the corporation are now taught in Nigerian Universities.

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Also in place is NDIC Academy acclaimed by the International Association of Deposit Insurers as a centre of excellence for the teaching of deposit insurance courses within the African continent.

The corporation has conducted a nationwide sensitization seminar on its mandate and financeial literacy for National Youth Service Corps members to deepen the understanding of the role of NDIC in the banking system. 

In addition to raising the level of financial education in Nigeria, the deposit insurer has also continued to intensify its depositor protection awareness campaign to encourage people to come forward to claim their deposits in closed banks.

In his guide to the banking public, Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim hasn’t left out the menace of illegal funds managers – the so-called wonder banks that lure people with high returns offers. He has continued to stress it as a point of caution, sound it as advice and yell it as a note of warning the danger of patronizing wonder banks. 

“For the avoidance of doubt, these ‘wonder banks’ or illegal funds managers are neither licensed by either the Central Bank of Nigeria or Securities and Exchange Commission nor are they under the NDIC deposit insurance scheme”, he said.

For strict guidance, the NDIC’s chief executive officer is asking every intending depositor or investor to look out for a display of NDIC stickers:  in banking halls and entrances of financial institutions before doing business with them.

Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim has established a 24-hour help desk in the corporation with a toll-free telephone line and social media platforms for public enquiries on depositors’ claims settlement and stakeholders’ complaints on sharp practices by their financial institutions.

The introduction of bridge-bank approach rather than closure of troubled banks has helped to improve banking system stability, save depositors’ funds and thousands of jobs in the affected banks. The intervention approach has made it possible for weak banks to regain liquidity and continue normal operations.

Going forward, the corporation is taking steps to institutionalize the process of regaining liquidity by licensing a private sector-based Asset Management Company to buy problem assets from banks.

Through its supervisory function, the corporation has provided consumer protection to the banking public by ensuring that banking business is conducted in a asfe and sound manner. Its risk-based framework ensures that banks are monitored and regulated on the basis of risk exposure.

Its differential-premium assessment system ties the premium paid by insured banks with their risk profile. The role has helped to minimize incidences of bank runs and fostered a great deal of macroeconomic and financial system stability.

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Chila Andrew Aondofa

Founder/Team lead at | Abusite | Entrepreneur | Activist | Humanitarian | All Inquiries to SMS/WhatsApp +2349015751816

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