AS BELLO HASSAN TAKES OVER THE AFFAIRS OF NIGERIA DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION (NDIC) — Maiwada Dammallam

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The history of Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has its origin in the report of a committee set up in 1983 by the Board of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to examine the operations of the banking system in Nigeria. The Committee in its Report recommended the establishment of a Depositors Protection Fund. Consequently, the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation was established through the promulgation of Decree No. 22 of 15th June 1988.

This was part of the economic reform measures taken by the then government, to strengthen the safety net for the banking sector following its liberalization policy and the introduction of the 1986 Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) in Nigeria.
The phenomenal increase in the number of banks from 40 in 1986 to 120 in 1992 among other things led to Increased competition amongst banks leading to sharp practices and increased presence of people of questionable integrity in the banking sector with many unverified characters becoming bank owners and managers. Also, increased manpower demand in the sector to fill the new opportunities hastily created by the phenomenal and swift expansion of the sector came with a price. Last but not not the least, the coming together of strange bedfellows due to the licensing requirement that banks maintain adequate geographical spread altogether, gave birth to a dicey situation of having two extremely delicate situations that must be well balanced for Nigerians to get a fair deal from the flourishing banking sector.

Needless to say, above is a summary of both the good intention to establish a Depositors Protection Fund to take care of the foreseeable eventualities in the banking sector and also avoid the foreseeable huddles which, left open to chances, will spell disaster to the entire Nigerian economic structure. It’s then agreeable that establishing the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) is only halfway down the road to a qualitative financial sector. Even more critical is identifying professionally competent and morally sound Nigerians to choreograph the affairs of what could easily be an addition to the list of Nigeria’s “juicy Corporations” if tragically deposited in the wrong hands. This is why the choice of Malam Bello Hassan as the newly appointed captain of the NDIC by President Muhammad Buhari should not be allowed to pass unnoticed and must be celebrated as it summarizes the resolve of the Buhari administration to change the way Nigeria operates with a clear intention to bequeath to Nigerians strong institutions that could make real the safety nets they are conceptualized to provide.

The “Breaking News” announcing the nomination of Bello Hassan as the new NDIC helmsman sent the entire Corporation agog and not without a reason. Hassan’s stint as a member of the NDIC Board of Directors has endeared him to the staff of the Corporation where he is seen as a silent problem solver. His membership of the Board of AMCON (another agency complimenting the efforts of the NDIC to sanitize the Nigerian banking sector) added to the comradeship between Bello and the entire staff of the NDIC which translated into the euphoria that heralded the announcement of his appointment.

Humble, taciturn albeit pragmatic, Bello Hassan, as confirmed by various stakeholders, is bringing to the NDIC table a very befitting profile for the business of maintaining a delicate balance in Nigeria’s tumultuous banking sector. His choice as the captain of the NDIC is neither accidental nor coincidental. It’s a choice made entirely on the solidity of the competence, experience and impeccability of the character of Bello Hassan. A 1988 B.Sc (Hons) Accounting graduate from ABU Zaria, Hassan capped this feat with a corresponding MBA from the same prestigious university in 2006 and ever since, it’s always one giant feat after another. What he lacked in words, he compliment with impeccable results. Hassan’s story is one of results by due process.

The soft spoken ABU alumnus also holds a Diploma in Business Continuity Management from Coventry University, UK. He is also a fellow of the exclusive Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria. He started his public career with Katsina State Ministry of Finance in 1989. He later joined the services of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in 1990 and briefly worked in the Operations Directorate of the Bank before moving to the Examination/Supervision Department in 1996.

Since joining CBN, Hassan has been involved with on-site/off-site supervisions of banks and other financial institutions as well as financial stability issues. In 2019, he was appointed Director, Other Financial Institutions Supervision Department of the CBN and later redeployed as Director, Banking Supervision Department in February 2020. Quite a befitting identity for a man destined to captain the affairs of as sensitive a Corporation as the NDIC. There couldn’t be a more befitting peg in the correct hole.

Bello Hassan is a self-made financial guru whose rich resume put him on the spot when President Buhari set out searching for a new helmsman for the NDIC. Talk about a gold fish having no place to hide! Despite deliberate efforts to remain below Nigeria’s political radar, Hassan’s silent records were so loud to attract the attention of President Buhari. Sure, like minds attracts and like mots to flame, President Buhari’s attraction to Hassan was natural. Need I say President Buhari could as well go to sleep with both eyes closed with Hassan in charge of affairs at the NDIC?

Aside the requisite background that already made him a big time player in the financial sector, Hassan’s present posting only confirmed the impeccability of his nomination as the new NDIC Boss by President Buhari. He’s currently representing the CBN on the Boards of the NDIC, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), Financial Institutions Training Center (FITC), FMDQ Clear Ltd., as well as on the Governing Council of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN).

The Katsina-born financial whizkid is happily married and blessed with children. I’m truly proud to be associated with this gentleman and this is a prayer to Allah SWT to bless his tenure with enormous success.

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