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Bitcoins not legal tender in Nigeria, NDIC warns

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Pays over N100bn to depositors of closed banks

By Babajide Komolafe & Naomi Uzor

THE Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has warned members of the banking public on the danger of digital currencies like Bitcoins, saying they are not legal tenders in Nigeria.

Managing Director/Chief Executive, NDIC, Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim, gave this warning at the NDIC Special day at the Lagos International Trade Fair.

Represented by the Director/Claims Resolution Department, NDIC, Mr. Asumo Bello, Ibrahim said the protection of the depositor remains the top priority, of the Corporation.

The Corporation, according to him, stresses the need for depositors to patronize only financial institutions that are licensed by the CBN and which display the NDIC sticker with the words, “Insured by NDIC”, in their banking hall or entrances.

He stated: “It is for this reason that I must sound a word of warning against patronizing dubious fund managers, otherwise known as “Wonder Bank”. They  persuade their unsuspecting victims to part with their hard earned money with promises of interest rates that are unrealistically high as the returns of their investments”

“The result is the loss of vital savings and sometimes disastrous consequences to the lives of the victims. Also the emerging trend of investing in digital currencies popularly known as Bitcoin is equally dangerous because just like wonder bank, the digital currencies are not licensed by the CBN and therefore not insured by the NDIC” he said.

Speaking further, Ibrahim disclosed that    NDIC    has paid over N100 billion to depositors of liquidated banks.

He stated: “The payments are not done in secret. The NDIC has been publishing in newspapers, radio, and television whenever insured deposits and uninsured deposits were due for payment. We implore those depositors who have not responded to our calls to come forward to collect their insured deposits and liquidation dividends already declared for uninsured deposits”.

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