Former chairman AbdulLateef makes u-turn, gives NDIC clean bill of health
By Chima Nwokoji
The immediate past chairman of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Dr AbdulHakeem AbdulLateef, has said that the corporation is a responsible institution by discharging its mandate according to the law that established it.
AbdulLateef, who on June 13, before his resumption as board chairman, took to the social media and alleged that the corporation reeks of corruption and has been taken over by a ‘cabal,’ reversed himself in a letter within 24 hours after his video went viral.
The board chairman also faulted the corporation’s new Act saying it is one of the instruments of corruption.
But in a letter titled, “My best 26 days as a political leader,” AbdulLateef noted that within 26 days he, together with the Board of Directors, has brought transformational changes to improve the nation’s economy through the enhancement of the financial sector.
AbdulLateef’s appointment commenced effectively on May 25. But with the dissolution of all Federal Government Boards and parastatals except the ones listed in the Constitution on Monday June 19, the former chairman’s tenure ended after 26 days in office.
He said, “I am celebrating these glorious 26 days for the following reasons. I praise Allah for using me to achieve in 26 days what I may not have achieved in eight years if I do not worship Him.
“In 26 days my Lord used me to prove to all Nigerians that the renewed hope is possible only if all leaders and followers are sincerely committed to it.”
According to him, the main concern when he was appointed was his standing on the day of accountability.
“I was afraid of keeping my name, reputation, honour and integrity intact throughout my tenure. In 26 days my Lord assisted me to complete this huge assignment with unblemished records,” AbdulLateef further stated.
The former Lagos commissioner, who wept in the earlier video, called on Nigerians not to allow the new Act see the light of day. He also called on President Bola Tinubu to probe the new Act.
However, checks by the Nigerian Tribune revealed that his allegation that NDIC does not pay depositors of failed banks was not true.
The NDIC reported that it paid the sum of N113.2 billion to depositors of failed banks in June 2022.
Bello Hassan, NDIC Managing Director, made the disclosure at the 2022 NDIC workshop, organised for the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) and business editors in Port Harcourt.
The corporation said it cumulatively paid N11.83 billion to more than 443,949 insured depositors and N101.37 billion to uninsured depositors of all categories of banks in-liquidation, as of June 2022.
Further checks revealed that the corporation had commenced the payment of statutory insured sums to the depositors of the recently affected 179 banks even before the AbdulLateef-led board was inaugurated on May 25.
In another reverse post on his verified Facebook account, the former chairman stated, “If you have any outstanding issue with your deposits, be happy to write to the Managing Director of NDIC; It will be sorted with dispatch.”
He added that it ordinarily takes after four years before one could attain the coveted status of being a former chairman of NDIC, but in just 26 days, “yours sincerely has proudly become the former chairman of NDIC. What an incredible feat!”
Recall that after Abdul Lateef’s appointment by former President Muhammadu Buhari and confirmation of the board members by the senate, Buhari, on May 26, 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.